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15.1e Explain the principles of safe handling of infected or soiled linen and clinical waste

It is important that you safely handle infected or soiled linen and clinical waste as they can cause infection if not handled safely. Clinical waste is produced from healthcare and similar activities and should be placed in either yellow or orange sacks that are kept separate from other waste and disposed of using specialist facilities. Waste containers should be handled carefully and appropriate personal protective equipment should be used to protect you from contamination and infection.

Linen that comes into contact with workers or individuals can become contaminated. As such, personal protective equipment should be used when handling contaminated linen. This infected linen should also be washed separately from other items. Bedding and towels should be washed in a hot wash and laundry should be moved to the washing area in sealed, colour coded bags. Once decontaminated, this linen must then be stored separately from contaminated linen to prevent cross-contamination. Always make sure to follow the agreed ways of working for this process.