OSHA Decontamination of Ebola on Surfaces Fact Sheet

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Cleaning and Decontamination of Ebola on Surfaces
Guidance for Workers and Employers in Non-Healthcare/Non-Laboratory Settings

Workers tasked with cleaning surfaces that may be contaminated with Ebola virus, the virus that causes Ebola Virus Disease (EVD, or Ebola), must be protected from exposure. Employers are responsible for ensuring that workers are protected from exposure to Ebola virus and harmful levels of chemicals used for cleaning and disinfection

Guidelines for cleaning and disinfection

  • Workers must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when conducting cleaning and decontamination activities.
  • Immediately clean and disinfect any surfaces contaminated with blood, urine, feces, vomit, or other body fluids that are suspected or known to contain Ebola virus.
  • Isolate areas of suspected Ebola virus contamination until decontamination is completed to minimize exposure of individuals not performing the work.
  • Use signage to restrict access to areas of suspected or known Ebola virus contamination until decontamination is completed to minimize exposure of individuals not performing the work.
  • Treat any visible contamination with a suitable disinfectant (described at right).
  • If there is a bulk spill or bulk matter (e.g., vomit or diarrhea), cover the material fully with absorbent material (e.g., paper towels), then pour disinfectant on to saturate the area.
  • Allow disinfectant to soak into spills for the recommended time period for the specific disinfectant being used (see manufacturer’s instructions).
  • To assure complete disinfection, further disinfect the surface after the bulk material(s) has been removed, using a suitable disinfectant.

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