Lawford Kidd, Personal Injury Solicitors

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New regulations on preventing sharps injuries

New regulations to control the risks posed by needles and other 'sharps' in healthcare came into effect this month.

The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations came into force on 11th May 2013. Northern Ireland introduced equivalent regulations on the same date.

The Health and Safety Executive introduced the new regulations to implement a European Directive. They supplement the existing health and safety legislation that already requires employers across all sectors to take effective action to control the risk from sharps injuries.

Employers and contractors working in the healthcare sector are now required to:

  • Have effective arrangements for the safe use and disposal (including using 'safer sharps' where reasonably practicable, restricting the practice of recapping of needles and placing sharps bins close to the point of use)
  • Provide the necessary information and training to workers
  • Investigate and take action in response to work related sharps injuries

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