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2007 Spillage Policy
(81 kB)










Page updated 30 April 2007


Key Points

All spillages must be cleaned up promptly

Clearly define Nurse / Domestic responsibilities

Proper protective clothing should be worn

Specific action depends on the nature of the spillage

Warning about dangers of chlorine

There is a special policy for mercury spillages


For the purpose of this policy a spillage may be defined as a leak or spill of blood or other body fluid from a patient, equipment, specimen, container or cadaver. All spillages present a potential infection hazard so they must be dealt with promptly.

Cleaning of Spillages

Responsibility for spillage cleaning:

Co-operation and flexibility between groups of staff in the removal of spillages is essential. However, the following staff should be responsible for spillage clearance in these areas:

Equipment Required:

Minimum information required on specimen label:

Appropriate chemical disinfectant:

Proper materials for dealing with the spillage:


Clean up spillage as far as possible using paper towels and incontinence pads. Arrange with Housekeeping/Patient support to steam clean carpet as soon as possible. Move patients away from the area. (Chlorine releasing preparations will bleach carpets).

Accidents or Incidents

If an accident (e.g. cut) occurs whilst dealing with the spillage, follow the SHARPS policy: Ensure that First Aid is received locally or in the Accident and Emergency Department. Complete an incident form and report the incident to your manager or nurse-in-charge.


Cleaning Mercury Spillages

Read more



Gardner J, Peel M Introduction to Sterilisation, Disinfection and Infection Control. 1991 Churchill Livingstone, Melbourne

Cooper T. Blood spills the evidence. Nursing Times 1999; 95 :65,68

Guidance for Clinical health Care Workers: Protection against Infection with Blood Borne Viruses. Recommendations of the Expert Advisory Group on AIDS and the Advisory Group on Hepatitis. 1998 Department of Health, London

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994. Approved Codes of Practice 1994. Health and Safety Commission