The yearly reporting of 40,000 sharp injuries in the healthcare sector is a cause of worry in the NHS. A new European Directive aims to reduce that number.  

EU countries must implement the directive’s provisions into national law by 11 May 2013. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is therefore seeking the views of NHS managers on UK proposals to introduce new regulations to protect health sector workers against the risk of injury and infection from sharp medical instruments.

In summary, HSE’s proposal, is to require healthcare employers and their contractors to:  

  • Have effective arrangements in place for the safe use and disposal of medical sharps
  • Provide necessary training and information to workers
  • Investigate and follow up work-related sharps injuries  

This is a good opportunity for NHS managers to have a hand in shaping the implementation of the Directive. To participate responses should be sent to Michael.wood@nhsconfed.org by 8 November 2012.