July 3, 2018

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Public Safety Personnel and Communicable Disease Prevention

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement, Corrections

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s tip is for law enforcement and custody personnel and it deals with protecting yourself from communicable diseases.

In your line of work, you come into contact with all kinds of people every day. This can be a handshake, taking an individual into custody, performing a pat-down search, or forcefully controlling somebody.

You simply do not know the medical history of those you contact. You do not know whether they have Tuberculosis or “TB”, HIV/AIDS, Meningitis, Hepatitis, or another communicable disease. Exposure can increase your risk of contracting one of these diseases.

How can you reduce your risk of exposure? And what should you do when think you may have been contaminated or exposed?

Here are a few common-sense tips:

Remember that anyone can have a disease that may put you at risk. Make sure that you protect yourself every time you touch someone.

Follow your training for using, safely removing, and disposing of gloves. Wash your hands and other areas that may have been contaminated after you remove the gloves.

Check your boots and uniform for signs of contamination from blood or other potentially infectious body fluids.

Be careful about where you launder your dirty uniforms. If your washing machine at home is contaminated, you could expose your family to disease.

Wipe down common surfaces like the steering wheel of your patrol vehicle, the keyboard of your computer, pens, and pencils, and other tools and equipment with disinfectant.

The risk of exposure is present every day you are at work. An exposure can range from the cold or flu to something with more serious consequences. Protecting yourself will help ensure a healthy day at work and will help keep your family healthy at home.

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol.

Gordon Graham, signing off.

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