What Are the Risk Factors?
- Sudden movement by a patient, resident or client when healthcare worker is inserting a needle.
- Recapping a needle.
- Collision with a co-worker who may be in transit with a sharps device.
- Placing sharps in a container during disposal.
Injury Prevention Strategies for Bloodborne Pathogens Hazards
- Use universal precautions: All bodily fluids should be treated as if they are potentially infectious.
- Train all employees with potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens in accordance with requirements established by the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens standard.
- Purchase devices with integrated safety features, e.g., self-sheathing needles, retracting needles, and needleless systems.
- Prohibit recapping of needles. If absolutely necessary, do not allow two-handed recapping.
- Advise healthcare workers to use caution when changing bed linens and carrying garbage and linen bags away from the body. Also use caution if placing them on a rolling cart to be transported.
- Ensure disposal procedures include placing used sharps in wide-mouth, puncture-proof, leak-proof containers. Locate the containers where sharps are commonly used; remove and replace containers when three-quarters full. Do not wait until they are completely full.
Resources and Training Guides
OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_BloodborneFacts/bbfact01.pdf
Sharps Safety for Healthcare Settings: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/sharpssafety/
Training for Development of Innovative Control Technologies (TDICT) – Preventing Exposure to Blood www.tdict.org