Employees must be trained on the use of any new safety device implemented. What products or practices are leading to those injuries? Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. A: In 2002, all medical practices and facilities should be using safety devices whose safety feature is integral to the device. Where engineering controls will reduce employee exposure either by removing, eliminating or isolating the hazard, they must be used. But one day at work in the summer of 1998, I was stuck by a needle protruding from a sharps container.
Selecting, evaluating and adopting safety devices require collaboration among many individuals in the healthcare setting, including front-line workers. The solicitation of employees who have been involved in the input and evaluation process must be documented in the Exposure Control Plan. For seated workstations, the preferred height is 38—42 inches. States may choose to implement their own, more stringent standards independently of the Needlestick Act. Advances in Exposure Prevention Vol 5, No 1-2000:1-10. Any facility or organization that employs individuals who might reasonably experience occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials must comply with the regulation, even if the facility has never had a needlestick injury. Information gathered through these surveillance systems is commonly used for hazard identification and evaluation of program and device effectiveness.
What I worry about, and what we have heard anecdotally, is what is happening to the annual exposure control plan, the annual review of the latest products on the market that better meet the needs of staff. Being consistent throughout your message and the priorities that you set will allow you to accomplish more than when those items are done separately. The burden falls on workers to recognize their own areas for improvement and to report any injuries they incur and on supervisors and healthcare systems to respond with effective risk reduction strategies. At first they were confused by what the passage of the Act meant for them, but over time they realized the Act was intended to help them and make their jobs safer. Sharps are regulated because of their potential for spreading bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Q: What are the key provisions of the Federal Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act? Employers must follow all workplace, state, and federal requirements for documenting and reporting workplace sharps injuries and exposures to blood, bodily fluids, or tissue.
But no matter how effective protective equipment is at preventing surface contact, needles and other sharps easily penetrate most barrier precautions. The availability of safe products makes the difference between having a safe workplace and one that could be fatal. When you dont engage them in product evaluation and selection, you are probably staying with the devices you already have. The plan must be reviewed and updated at least annually. It has been shown that nurses are most willing to make changes to their set behaviors when they understand that they are at risk of injury and that the risk is substantial. There is now a large body of research and data concerning the effectiveness of newer engineering controls, including safer medical devices.
These devices may meet the minimum standard but they may not reflect the next generation of safety improvements. The agency further concluded these hazards can be minimized or eliminated by using a combination of engineering and work practice controls, personal protective clothing and equipment, training and medical surveillance, and signs and labels. If a safer device is available, but back ordered or delayed, this must be documented. Visit the web site of the International Health Care Worker Safety Research and Resource Center at the University of Virginia:. Although most needlestick and sharps injuries occur in inpatient units 40% and operating rooms 25% , nursing homes, clinics, emergency departments, and private homes and offices are the settings of thousands of percutaneous exposures.
Employers must also update their exposure control plans annually and log any accidental exposures that occur. The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act represented a revolutionary change for healthcare workers in the U. When injuries do occur, it is important that they are reported so appropriate prophylaxis and counseling can be received. High source-patient viral load increases the risk. Health care worker safety is as important as patient safety.
Gathering feedback from employees who actually use these methods and equipment on a daily basis ensures they are familiar with practices and minimizing the risk of exposure. For this reason, Foley says she is a strong supporter of the online community, Safe in Common safeincommon. Overview of website: Each link in the right navigation bar guides you to essential documents such as the. If a sharps container is overfilled, tongs should be used to move some of the devices to a new container. This standard was amended in 2000, partially through the implementation of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act.
Q: What if no one on our staff has had a sharps injury? It is unclear whether an extended follow-up period i. If you can, please take a few minutes to help us improve GovTrack for users like you. The log must protect the confidentiality of the injured employee. The employer now must use engineering and work practice controls that eliminate or minimize occupational exposure. What if safety controls cannot be used? Partial credit is not available. When medically indicated, provide employee with results.
We were hoarding gloves because there was a shortage. What is its function and purpose? Q: Who must keep a sharps injury log? Some of the new and clarified provisions in the standard apply only to healthcare activities, but some of the provisions, particularly the requirements to update the Exposure Control Plan and to keep a sharps injury log, will apply to non-healthcare as well as healthcare activities. Suddenly, some of our co-workers were becoming ill and a pattern was emerging that was devastating to San Francisco, then eventually the U. Many busy healthcare providers know how important it is to prevent needlesticks, but they will draw a blank when asked to explain the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000. The top opening of the container should be visible to the user. The use of effective training and education is required for employees whenever safer devices are implemented.
The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act the Act Pub. If sharps are sticking out of the sides of a container, notify safety personnel. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice. Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens, and many other related documents. Safety devices are required to be in use when available and when appropriate.