Bloodborne Pathogens in the Landscaping Industry

Landscapers are often exposed to bloodborne pathogens. Landscaping can involve a wide range of activities, such as maintaining lawns and gardens, pruning trees and shrubs, planting flowers and vegetables, or maintaining outdoor structures such as patios or retaining walls. While these jobs are typically considered safe for the average worker with no risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, landscapers can face a number of situations where they could encounter infected bodily fluids. For example:

Prevention and Planning

  • Planning is key to avoiding bloodborne pathogens.
  • Know where you are going, what you are doing, and the risks and hazards of your job.
  • Know how to protect yourself from these risks. Read labels, signs postings, and safety data sheets (SDS) on chemicals before use; follow instructions and directions for the use of protective equipment as well as for handling contaminated waste materials; don't wear loose clothing that can get caught in equipment; know how to use your tools properly so they don't cause injury or infection from cuts or punctures.
  • Understand what actions should be taken if an injury occurs during the course of work such as:
  • How do I treat an open wound?
  • What should I do if someone else gets injured?


The first step in preventing bloodborne pathogens exposure is educating employees on how to protect themselves from exposure. Employers should provide training on how to protect themselves from exposure, the appropriate use of PPE, and what type of PPE is appropriate for different types of contact. For example, if you are using a shovel or trowel to dig out weeds and plants in a flowerbed that has been fertilized with animal manure (and therefore contains blood), then you will need to wear gloves and eye protection; however, if you're just raking leaves off the lawn without any interaction with soil or fertilizer then only gloves would be needed.


  • PPE should be worn when there is a risk of exposure to blood and other bodily fluids.
  • If you are not wearing PPE, you should wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub before beginning work activities.
  • You should replace any torn or damaged PPE with new equipment as soon as possible.
  • Clean, disinfect or discard used personal protective equipment according to the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations (You may need to consult your employer).
  • You should only wear this type of clothing if it has been supplied by your employer; do not use it as a substitute for medical equipment such as gloves or masks when dealing with patients who have infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS!

Staying Healthy and Accident-Free at Work

  • Work in pairs.
  • Don't work when you're sick or feeling under the weather. If you do, there's a greater chance of spreading bloodborne pathogens through your work site and potentially infecting yourself or others with an illness like hepatitis B or C.
  • Don't cut corners when using personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, boots, masks, and eye protection; they help keep harmful substances out of your body while preventing injuries caused by sharp objects like broken glass or rocks that could puncture skin if not protected properly by these items listed above!
  • Don't rush through tasks -- take your time instead so nothing slips by unnoticed! This includes making sure all tools required for each task are present before beginning work on any project involving hazardous materials such as fertilizers containing lead content due to improper disposal practices over time which can cause serious health problems later on down the road even though there may not be immediate side effects noticed during initial exposure events."

Landscapers can take steps to avoid exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Educate yourself on how to use PPE correctly, and make sure it fits properly.
  • Use a sharps disposal container for all needles, scalpels, and other sharp objects that could cause exposure if not disposed of properly.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and antibacterial soap after removing gloves or other PPE. This will help prevent infections from spreading through the workplace environment if someone accidentally cuts themselves while working with their hands uncovered during cleanup procedures such as sweeping up debris outside buildings where construction work is being done by landscaping crews who are wearing protective gear so they don't get injured by stepping on nails or glass shards lying around during demolition projects where old buildings need to be torn down first before being rebuilt into something new (such as condos).


Landscapers can take steps to avoid exposure to bloodborne pathogens. They should be aware of the risks associated with their job, and they should educate themselves on how to prevent exposure. Landscapers should also wear appropriate PPE when working in areas where there may be potential exposure to blood or other bodily fluids (such as gloves, masks, or goggles). Finally, it's important that landscapers stay healthy and accident-free at work by following proper hygiene procedures after being exposed.

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