Skip Navigation and Go To Content

Universal Precautions

Download Word document available

Universal Precautions

  • Use barrier protection at all times.
  • Use gloves for protection when working with or around blood and body fluids.
  • Change glove between patients.
  • Use glasses, goggles, masks, shields, and waterproof gowns/aprons to protect face from splashes.
  • Wash hands if contaminated and after removing gloves.
  • Use puncture-resistant sharps disposal containers (at point of use).
  • Do not recap, bend or break needles and handle all sharps carefully.
  • Use resuscitation equipment and devices for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Minimize spills and spatters; use leak-proof containers; appropriate biological safety cabinet.
  • Decontaminate all surfaces and devices after use.
  • Observe prudent laboratory practices.
  • Use proper waste management/housekeeping.
  • Promptly seek medical attention and counseling if exposed to contaminated materials (see below).

Other Protection Procedures

  • Use safe-design needle kits.
  • Use needle guard or needlestick prevention devices if recapping needle is necessary.
  • Reduce the use of needles and other sharps.
  • Use occlusive bandages as needed.
  • Follow infection control/body substance isolation practices.
  • Review and monitor protocols and/or practices for improving safety conditions.
  • Change or modify protocols/practices according to risk of tasks or biosafety level with additional use of personal protective equipment or special precautions.


  • Use approved disinfectant (e.g. 1:10 household bleach, etc.).
  • Use proper personal protective equipment.
  • Use a suitable strategy for decontamination and clean-up.
  • Absorb, contain and decontaminate spills.
  • Clean area with detergent and water after decontamination.
  • Properly dispose of contaminated materials.

Disposal Procedures

  • Place infectious waste in labeled "red bag"/designated containers.
  • Dispose of sharps in labeled, puncture-resistant containers.
  • Utilize: proper storage/transport/treatment (decontamination) of infectious materials.

In Case of Accident:

  • Immediately report the incident to your supervisor and fill out "Supervisor's First Report of Injury" form.
  • Report the incident as soon as possible to Environmental Health & Safety at 500-8100 (Biological Safety 500-4193).
  • Seek medical attention and/or counseling.
  • Contact UT Student and Employee Health Services at 500-3267; take completed "Supervisor's First Report of Injury" form with you for office appointment.
  • Needlesticks should be reported to 951-8013 (a 24 hour pager).