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Procedure Properties

Title: Infection Control
Category: Support Services
Version: 02
Implement Date: 28 August 2006
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public




Procedure - Infection Control

2.Facility cleaning
3.Personal hygiene
4.Safe storage of invasive equipment
5.Sterilisation of medical equipment
6.Disposal of contaminated waste material
7.Blood spill kits (excluding Princess Alexandra Hospital Secure Unit)
8.Hair cutting equipment


To ensure that full guidelines of infection control are used throughout the Department to maintain the health of all personnel.

1. Process

The routines developed recognise that body fluids are the primary vehicle for disease transmission and are designed to prevent spread of infection and to monitor infection control standards.

The basis of infection control is the practice of standard precautions. Refer procedure - Communicable Diseases.

2. Facility cleaning

Cleaning equipment must be available in each area for the clean up of body fluids. Custodial staff in each area should arrange for body spills to be cleaned immediately unless the area is declared a crime scene (refer procedure - Preservation of a Crime Scene and Evidence). If possible the prisoner concerned should be responsible for the cleaning. Bleach must be available for use immediately in all areas.

Should clinical nurses be concerned that hygiene is of concern in a particular area, they must liaise with the unit manager to ensure that the area of concern complies with normal hygiene standards.

3. Personal hygiene

Should clinical nurses believe that a prisoner's personal hygiene is such that others are at risk of cross infection, then they should liaise with the unit manager to ensure that education and supervision is available to address the problem.

If any prisoner has contaminated clothing then he/she should be instructed to place personal laundry in red dissolvable laundry bag and forward to laundry through normal collection procedures.

4. Safe storage of invasive equipment

Health services staff are responsible for the maintenance, safety and security in regard to storage and disposal of and for the prevention of access of prisoners to sharps and syringes, contaminated material and waste within the facilities health centres.

All sharps containers must be kept in a locked cupboard until able to be disposed of.

5. Sterilisation of medical equipment

All surgical equipment must be cleaned and sterilized appropriately immediately after use -

  1. all instruments are scrubbed with a nailbrush to remove tissue and blood particles. Use of biologic cleaner is recommended if available;
  2. instruments are packaged individually and package dated;
  3. stock must be re ‑ autoclaved each three months if not used before the use by date; and
  4. instruments should be given a milk soak twice yearly.

Health services staff are responsible for the daily maintenance of the autoclave and regular checking of adequate function. Servicing of the autoclave must be carried out yearly.

Autoclaving and instrument preparation instructions should be clearly displayed beside the autoclave.

6. Disposal of contaminated waste material

Used medical waste and material must be disposed of in a safe and effective manner. Facilities must have ongoing services by a recognised waste management company for the collection of contaminated waste.

Any material soiled with body fluids shall be deemed infected and disposed of in the following manner-

  1. gloves must be worn to collect material;
  2. linen should be placed in the red dissolvable bags supplied and forwarded to the laundry for washing; and
  3. waste must be placed in yellow biohazard bags for appropriate disposal.

As part of the infection control procedures in the facilities, each unit or workstation should have a supply of disposable waste collection bags and laundry bags.

These bags are of regulation materials to comply with the legislation regarding the collection of material contaminated with blood or body fluids. The bags must only to be used for contaminated material.

Each issue will consist of -

  1. yellow bags x 2 - for the collection of disposable waste material for incineration;
  2. red bags x 2 - for the collection of bed linen and prisoners clothing for transfer to the laundry for washing; and
  3. blankets must to be placed in a separate bag.

Yellow bags must be delivered to the health centre for disposal with the facility waste management contractor.

Red bags will be placed, as usual procedure, in the laundry collection cart and on reception at the laundry will be placed unopened into the washing machine.

7. Blood spill kits (excluding Princess Alexandra Hospital Secure Unit)

Blood spill kits must be strategically placed to ensure their availability to staff in emergencies, e.g. each accommodation area should have a blood spill kit. A blood spill kit must include-

  1. gloves;
  2. laerdal mask;
  3. first aid kit;
  4. cleaning material;
  5. apron;
  6. eye goggles;
  7. saline; and
  8. bleach.

All custodial officers must carry an officer utility pouch.

The general manager is responsible for ensuring a process is established for the replenishing of used items in an officer utility pouch. At a minimum, these pouches should contain-

  1. 1 x face shield for CPR;
  2. 2 x gloves;
  3. 2 x small dressings;
  4. 2 x bandaids; and
  5. 1 x small combine.

8. Hair cutting equipment

Plastic guards must be used at all times and must be soaked in an appropriate sterilising solution between uses. Refer Public Health (Hairdressing) Code of Practice 2000

F P Rockett

Version History

28/08/2006 Version 02