Industry News: BD Announces Sharps Workshops for Point of Care Staff

07 Dec 2011

Every day, nurses and point of care workers face the threat of sharps injuries, which can result in life-threatening infections such as HIV and Hepatitis. Sharps injuries, the most common of which are needlestick injuries, are a serious occupational hazard faced by healthcare worker.

There are an estimated one million needlestick injuries occurring in the European Union every year, and more than 100,000 incidents annually in the UK alone. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) along with medical technology company BD (Becton Dickinson) are confronting this issue by bringing together a group of leading nursing professionals in a series of educational workshops aimed at helping healthcare workers learn how to avoid such injuries.

The forthcoming EU Directive on Sharps Injuries Prevention provides a much needed opportunity to establish a mandatory framework for eliminating sharps injuries. This must be implemented into national law in the UK by May 2013, and the RCN has published guidance to support the process.

Commenting on the current situation, RCN Senior Employment Relations Adviser, Kim Sunley said: “Nurses and healthcare assistants continue to be at risk in the workplace from sharps injuries, and this is unacceptable and easily prevented. The RCN played a key role in calling for the EU Directive, which presents a great opportunity to lead the way, and there’s no reason why hospitals in the UK can’t set the standard. Employers have a duty to do all they can to protect staff from sharps injuries and we would not want to see them shirk from this responsibility. By working together with healthcare professionals and management, we can create a culture of safety for all nursing staff.”

During the workshops, participants learn more about the Directive, and how to make their working environment safer for themselves and patients. Simply by carrying out risk assessment procedures, introducing safety-engineered medical devices, and improving training and education, a significant reduction in the number of sharps injuries can be achieved.

The workshops being held are as follows:

• London - Thursday 8 December 2011
• Manchester - Wednesday 25 January 2012
• Belfast - Wednesday 1 February 2012
• Edinburgh - Tuesday 14 February 2012
• Cardiff - Tuesday 28 February 2012
• Leeds - Tuesday 6 March 2012

Further information on the workshops, along with details on the forthcoming EU Directive, can be found by following the company article link to the right of this page.