First responders have one of the most challenging careers, and also one of the biggest opportunities to make a positive impact. There is a lot that goes into the job of a first responder – from their technical knowledge, the need for procedural precision, their compassion for the ones they serve, and the responsibility to make it all happen – and they aren’t always recognized for all these efforts that they make daily on behalf of others. In addition to all the challenges we may first think of when it comes to the jobs of first responders, there is another less considered responsibility they also need to maintain awareness of, which is Contamination Cleanup and OSHA Compliance.
First responders come in many forms – police officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and more – all of whom have different responsibilities, experiences, and challenges. Despite the differences, they all share a commitment to living in the service of others, which requires being knowledgeable on a variety of subjects and protocols. In many of these cases, their work duties can include – and may even require – the understanding of how to deal with exposure to hazardous material. This can be the result of accidents which may expose them to biohazardous material, such as blood or vomit, as well as chemical spills, such as when they respond to an emergency call involving hazardous substances.
No matter how our first responders come into contact with hazardous or biohazardous material, it’s important for their safety and ours that they are properly trained on the correct protocol to fit the circumstances. Whether they come onto the scene to witness an event that started before their arrival, or they are unexpectedly in a situation where it requires them to adapt and respond without notice, it’s essential that proper training is administered to promote their awareness of both real and potential threats, as well as provide the knowledge and skills to handle the incident safely and securely.
Any position or job site that either deals with hazardous material, or has the potential to encounter it during the course of duty, can benefit from proper training and preparation. In this way, everyone is offered the greatest chance of success to avoid injury to any involved party, as well as avoid unnecessary business liabilities. Our first responders put themselves in precarious positions on a regular basis in their service of our communities, so it’s important we prepare them as best we can to help keep ourselves safe and bring them home safely, no matter where their service may take them.