New Sharps Regs Take Effect in Britain

The regulations implement a European Directive and build on already existing Health and Safety Executive rules.

New regulations to control the risks posed by needles and other sharps in health care have taken effect in England and Northern Ireland. The Health and Safety Executive enacted them to implement a European Directive, and they supplement existing laws that already required employers in all sectors to take effective actions to control the risk from sharps injuries.

Health care employers and contractors must have effective arrangements for the safe use and disposal of sharps, including the use of safer sharps, restricting the practice of recapping needles, and placing sharps bins near the point of use. They must train and educate workers and investigate and take action in response to all work-related sharps injuries.

"Sharps injuries are a well-known risk in the health care sector,” said Martin Dilworth, an HSE policy advisor in biological hazards. “Medical sharps contaminated with an infected patient's blood can transmit pathogens that cause more than 20 diseases, including hepatitis B and C, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The new regulations are there to help minimize these risks, and we're publishing free guidance to help the health care industry understand its responsibilities."

Guidance for health are employers and employees is available at www.hse.gov.uk/healthservices/needlesticks and www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hsis7.htm.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2021

    October 2021

    Featuring:

    • TRAINING
      On Route To Safe Material Handling
    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Normalization of Deviations in Performance
    • IH:INDOOR AIR QUALITY
      Arresting Fugitive Dusts
    • PPE:FOOT PROTECTION
      Safety Shoes Make the Outfit for Well-Protected Workers
    View This Issue