Spill Protocols & Requirements

In all instances where there is a risk of spillage, or contact with blood, body fluids or hazardous products, correct PPE should be worn.

Spill Protocols and Requirements                                  

Spillages within a dental surgery are inevitable at some time.

Careful planning and protocols are required to ensure that they are dealt with in a consistent approach that protects the patient, the employee and the employer.

It is important to have the following in place: 

  • A policy and procedure outlining cleaning and disposal of a bodily fluid or hazardous products in a safe and effective manner by appropriate trained persons. It should be mindful of the control of substances hazardous to health.

  • Give staff training in the correct procedure for dealing with a spillage. Ensure that they know where the spillage kit is kept, how to use it and how and where to report a spillage. 

A spillage kit containing the equipment and chemicals to effectively remove the spillage is required.

Regular checks should be made on the kit for expiry dates and replacement of used contents

Minimum contents to include are:

  • Disposable plastic apron.

  • Cardboard scoop.

  • Gloves and eye protection.

  • Clinical waste bag.

  • Sodium dichloroisocyanurate granules which are sprinkled over the spillage to coagulate it, which can then be removed with the scoop provided.

A disinfectant cleaner, with clear instructions for use, should also be included as a replacement for the sodium dichloroisocyanurate granules. 

When created it should contain no less than 1000pm and preferably 10000ppm of chlorine when cleaning blood spillages.

A chlorine tablet solution can be made up by following the manufacturer's instructions.

Check for a recommended chlorine content when purchasing a bodily fluid spillage kit.

Personal Protective Equipment

In all instances where there is a risk of spillage, contact with blood, body fluids or hazardous products, correct PPE should be worn.

This includes:

  • During manual cleaning of surgical instruments.

  • High risk aerosol contamination during dental procedures.

  • All decontamination procedures.

  • All cleaning of spillages.

Staff should wear an appropriate uniform and especially footwear which must be fully enclosed to meet with health and safety regulations.

In addition, disposable plastic aprons, gloves, masks visors or goggles should be worn.

Dental practices should have an eye wash station to deal with splashes to the eyes. It is always advisable to seek medical attention in such circumstances.

In the event of a spillage, to protect staff and public, display a hazard sign or cordon off the area with biohazard tape. This will aid to alert others to the hazard.

Procedure for Dealing with a Bodily Fluid Spill 

  • Inform all staff and patients in the immediate vicinity that a spillage has occurred.

  • Ventilate the area.

  • Notify the Registered Manager (HTM 01-05).

  • Display hazard notices.

  • Remove unaffected mobile equipment from the immediate area, to ensure spillage is easily accessible for cleaning.

  • Locate the spill kit.

  • Protect yourself with correct personal protective wear.

  • Ensure that you have all the equipment you need to clean up the spillage before starting the cleaning procedure.

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions of the spillage kit used.

  • Be mindful of surrounding areas and other people.

  • Dispose of waste including PPE in an orange waste disposal bag and place in the designated waste storage area, label the bag as per local policy.

  • Wash hands.

  • Discuss how the spillage could have been prevented, for example this could be recorded in the minutes of a staff meeting.