New guidance on managing sharps injuries released

11 December 2015

The Health Safety and Wellbeing Partnership Group (HSWPG) have created several guidance documents for the NHS, using partnership working to create valuable. The latest resource is the new guidance on managing the risks of sharps injuries.

Each year thousands of NHS workers are subjected to sharps injuries and NHS Employers estimate that this involves around 40,000 individuals per year.

Whilst, UNISON, the Royal College of Nurses and European Bio-safety Network have each produced their own guidance on tackling sharps injuries, this HSWPG guide is the first to be produced in partnership with the agreement of both employers and unions. It is based around a series of case studies of NHS providers who have worked in collaboration with trade unions.

To coincide with the launch of this guidance, Robert Baughan, assistant national officer for the trade union UNISON and a member of the HSWPG, has written a blog about why managing sharps injuries is important.

Employers should use this guide to review their risk assessments, policies, and procedures. It explains, step by step, what employers need to do when:

  • identifying the hazards and assessing the risks
  • deciding on and implementing the appropriate preventive measures (including advice on hierarchy of controls)
  • measuring and reviewing performance to ensure risks are being managed and that their preventive plan is effective
  • ensuring all sharps injuries are reported by establishing the right policies and procedures.

Find out more information, download Managing the risks of sharps injuries. Access other documents produced by the HSWPG, visit Health, Safety and Wellbeing Partnership Group: resources.

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