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Safety event puts new sharps laws under the knife

Health and safety professionals in Northern Ireland have been given advice on how new laws can help them reduce needle, scalpel blade and other sharps injuries in the healthcare industry.

New UK and EU laws coming into force this spring require employers to provide better protection against accidents caused by this equipment. And the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Healthcare Group held an event for the first time in Northern Ireland giving advice to healthcare organisations on what they need to do to comply.

The regulations are designed to reduce needlestick and other sharps injuries in order to prevent healthcare staff from being exposed to the diseases and infections they may carry.

The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 implement the EU Directive 2010/2013 on preventing sharps injuries in the hospital and health and social care sector, introducing new and updated measures to protect staff. This includes a requirement to provide safer needle systems, warding against injury to those using needle devices, as well as anyone involved in laundry, decontamination and waste management.

A recent report found that needlestick and sharps injuries account for 17% of accidents to NHS staff and are the second most common cause of injury.

IOSH Healthcare Group chair Douglas Blair said: “We simply can’t afford to be putting our doctors, nurses and other staff in the sector at risk of disease and illness. They need to be safe in the work they do to be able to provide the service needed to help others recover and at the same time, this will also mean patients and clients are safer too.”

Are you Terms and Conditions of Business any good?
Dallas McMillan, Solicitors advise Vuitton Family ...

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