Preventing sharps injuries in a healthcare setting is crucial for the safety of healthcare workers and their patients.
Here’s a brief guide on steps to take to prevent sharps injuries in your organisation:
Use Safety Engineered Devices: Consider implementing safety-engineered needles and devices that have built-in mechanisms to prevent accidental needlestick injuries.
Proper Handling and Disposal: Always handle needles with care, avoid recapping, bending, or breaking. Use puncture-resistant containers for proper disposal of used needles.
Education and Training: Provide training for your staff on safe needle handling techniques, emphasising not recapping needles and using proper disposal methods.
Engineering Controls: Ensure a plentiful supply of sharps disposal containers that are secure, easily accessible, strategically located, and clearly marked.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Encourage staff to wear appropriate PPE, including gloves, when handling needles or potential contaminated materials. If you are unsure whether your PPE is adequate for the task, undertake a review of the PPE provided.
Work Practices: Encourage safe work practices such as using two hands to handle needles, avoiding overfilling sharps containers, and disposing of sharps immediately.
Communication and Reporting: Establish a reporting system for incidents or near-misses related to needlestick injuries. Encourage open communication about potential hazards to enable additional control measures to be introduced as appropriate.
Infection Control: Follow your organisation’s infection control policies and procedures to minimise the risk of contamination and infection transmission. Encourage staff to report instances of non-compliance amongst their colleagues.
Regular Audits and Feedback: Conduct routine audits to ensure compliance with safe needle practices. Provide feedback of your findings to staff as part of a continual learning programme.
Vaccinations: Ensure that all staff identified on your risk assessments are up-to-date with their vaccinations for bloodborne pathogens like Hepatitis B.
Emergency Response Plan: Develop a plan to respond quickly and effectively in case of a needlestick injury, including medical evaluation and appropriate follow-up.
Continuous Improvement: Regularly review and update your needlestick prevention procedures based on best practices and staff feedback. Remember to share any learnings with your staff!
By introducing these measures into your organisation, you can significantly reduce the risk of needlestick injuries and enhance the safety of your colleagues.
Need some support?
At accuSafe, we are ready to support you in reducing sharps injuries and keeping your staff and patients safe. For expert guidance on this, or any other health and safety challenge, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on 0333 012 4045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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