Helping medical professionals across the United Kingdom avoid the risk of needle-stick injuries is very much the focus of a new drive by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Needle- stick injuries are those caused when, during a medical procedure, a needle accidentally punctures the patient's skin.
The drive started off with a meeting, arranged by IOSH's Tyne and Wear Branch, at which delegates were addressed by Public Health England's, Doctor Simon Howard, who is a Speciality Registrar in Public Health.
The primary focus of Doctor Howard's presentation was to highlight how health professionals in the UK can help both themselves and their colleagues avoid needle-stick injuries.
Up next, Carl Hagemann, who is IOSH's Sports Grounds and Events Group Chair and is the part of the organisation's Executive Committee, also spoke to the meetings' attendees about the risks for those working with needles and other 'sharps' or where such items are disregarded.
Commenting Mr. Hagemann stated: "This presentation highlighted today's real risks as opposed to the perceived risks regarding needle stick injuries within the workplace and outdoor environment. It also explored perceived beliefs and misconceptions of addiction and the habits and behaviours of intravenous drug users....
"This training was aimed at all personnel responsible for staff whom may be presented with situations where intravenous needles and sharps may be in use or have been inappropriately discarded.
"Such personnel can be social workers and care staff; parks and cleansing workers; and leisure industry personnel."
The IOSH meeting, which took place in Sunderland last week, was organised by Gary Dowell and Samantha Day, both IOSH's Tyne and Wear Branch Executive Committee.
Commenting after the meeting, Mr. Dowell, stated: "The needle-stick injuries presentation was equally informative. There are many different roles where workers are posed with this risk. Hopefully the presentation will help many organisations put a system in place to manage this risk."
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