Standard Precautions

Standard Precautions reduce the risk of disease transmission. While Standard Precautions were designed with the healthcare setting in mind, workers in other settings who may be at risk of infectious disease exposure should observe as many of these precautions as possible.

The main practices include:

Hand Hygiene: Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds if they are soiled or if exposure is proved or suspected. If hand washing is not possible, rub hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer containing least 60% alcohol.

Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette: Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissues and masks and wash your hands after contact with any respiratory secretions.

Gloving: Wear gloves when touching body fluids/waste, contaminated or potentially contaminated surfaces, and potentially contaminated waste, trash, or other materials. Change gloves between tasks. Remove after use, to wash your hands before touching non-contaminated items, people, or surfaces.

Mouth, nose, eye (face) protection: Wear required protection (masks, goggles, face shields, respirators, etc.), especially during activities that are likely to generate splashes or sprays of contaminated material.

Gowns/Protective clothing: Wear protective clothing that keeps out contaminants. Remove soiled gowns/protective coverings as soon as possible and wash your hands.

Appropriate handling of laundry: Handle, transport, and process used linens in a manner that prevents contamination of self and transfer of pathogens to others and the environment.

Environmental cleaning: Use required procedures for cleaning/disinfecting surfaces.