Michael A. Hartle, D.C., D.A.C.B.N., C.C.N., C.C.S.P., C.S.C.S.
Chairman, USA Powerlifting Drug Testing & Sports Medicine Committees
For my first contribution to this new online newsletter, I thought I would re-visit a topic that we see occasionally at competitions: what to do when there is blood on the bar.
The following is the Blood Borne Pathogen/Infectious Material Handling Procedures that were approved by the USAPL National Governing Body in July, 1995. Also below are ideas, suggestions and directions for the enclosed policy. These procedures are now official USAPL regulations. This policy must be followed by USAPL Meet Directors to ensure the safety of all athletes competing in USAPL competitions. If you have any questions or concerns about any of the enclosed, please do not hesitate to contact me.
- This procedure documents the steps to be taken when blood is detected on the bar or platform from lifters tearing their skin during any of the lifts (squat, bench press, or deadlift). Adherence to this procedure will provide a reasonable level of safety from the spreading of bloodborne pathogens to other competitors and the platform staff.
2.0 Materials needed per Platform (available on the lifting platform)
- 4 pair minimum of disposable latex gloves
- 4-6 biohazard bags for proper disposal of gloves, towels, etc. that come in contact with the blood/infectious materials
- HIV/Hepatitis Spray disinfectant
- 1 pint solution of mixture of bleach/water in a spray dispenser made fresh daily (Mix 1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon water - 1:10 ratio. Mixture must be prepared on the day of the competition)
- 2 Wire brushes
- Supply of paper towels
- Supply of adhesive bandages
3.0 Cleaning/Disinfecting Procedure
3.1 When a referee or platform staff detects blood on the bar or platform, the lifting shall be temporaily stopped by the head referee until the bar or platform has been properly cleaned and disinfected.
4.0 Lifters with torn skin, cuts
3.2 The affected area shall be first cleaned with disinfectant and wire brushed. Next, the area shall be sprayed down with the bleach solution, allowed to dry for one minute and wiped dry with paper towels. People performing this cleaning must wear the disposable latex gloves.
3.3 Only after the bar or platform has been properly cleaned, will the head referee permit the lifting to continue.
3.4 Gloves and paper towels must be disposed of immediately after use in a leakproof plastic bag or container (preferably biohazard bag or container).
4.1 If the head referee notices a lifter preparing to take an attempt with ruptured skin on their head, hands, upper back or shins, the lifter must stop any bleeding and apply adhesive covering to that area before being permitted to lift.
1. The procedure for disposing of anything contaminated with bodily fluids must be done properly (exceptions would be residential such as band-aids, sanitary napkins, etc.). That means if at possible, not in a garbage can. Suggestions include dropping the biohazard bags off at a local hospital or EMT/Ambulance service or local fire station.
2. Attaining the biohazard bags, latex gloves and HIV disinfectant can be done through several sources: local drug store, local fire station, EMT/Ambulance service, hospital, clinical laboratory, etc. If you are having problems attaining the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.
3. Having two wire brushes is for the safety of the lifter. This way the platform help can clean off one brush while the other one is used on the platform. Use the same spray disinfectant/bleach method on the brush being cleaned.
4. It is ESSENTIAL to let the bleach solution dry for the ONE MINUTE to properly disinfect the bar, equipment, etc.. Failure to do so could possibly place the next athlete in danger of contamination because the equipment was not properly disinfected. This will not slow down the meet much at all if done efficiently and properly. Remember, you are doing this for the lifters.
5. The USAPL strongly recommends that all meet directors follow the policies as set forth in this Blood Borne Pathogen/Infectious Material Handling Procedures Policy. If a meet director fails to follow any provision of this policy, the USAPL hereby gives notice that it will not be held liable for any such action, legal or otherwise, that may result from such failure to follow any provision of such Policy.
6. The USAPL THANKS you and your staff for taking the time during the competition to properly disinfect your equipment should it become contaminated with Blood Borne Pathogens /Infectious Materials and further protecting the competitors. Good Luck!!
Please send your questions for the Sports Medicine Committee to Dr. Michael Hartle, 3835 W. Jefferson Blvd., Ft. Wayne, IN, 46804. If you would like a personal response, please send a SASE with $3.00 to cover additional postage and other expenses. I also welcome your comments on the committee/column e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.