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New Regulations introduce extra requirements for needle stick injuries

By News team

Extra requirements for protecting against sharps injuries will apply across the NHS from tomorrow (11 May 2013), when new UK Regulations come into force.

All NHS employers and employees will have additional duties under the Regulations, which add to existing health and safety legislation. Employees who receive a sharps injury at work will be legally required to notify their employer as soon as is practicable.

Employers will have several new requirements, which fall under four main aims: to promote the safe use and disposal of medical sharps; to provide information and training for employees; to respond effectively if an injury occurs; and to review procedures regularly.

Details of the new requirements and their implications for the NHS are set out in a briefing document on the NHS Confederation website. “The NHS European Office and NHS Employers have worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and with employers’ organisations and trade unions in Europe, to try to ensure that the new rules are sensible and workable for the NHS,” the briefing says.

The Regulations implement the European Council Directive 2010/32/EU on protection from sharps injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector.

See also: What you need to know about the new EU legislation on needle stick injuries

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11121107

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Supplementary images

  • Needle being dropped into sharps bin (hofmeester 23621399/Dreamstime.com)

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