- Working together for safer sharps

From 11th May all dental practices will have to ensure that they comply with The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 - this means that dental practices must avoid the unnecessary use of sharps.

Where it is not possible avoid the use of medical sharps, the new law requires employers to use ‘safer sharps’ where it is reasonably practicable to do so. A 'safer sharp' is defined as one that incorporates features or mechanisms to prevent or minimise the risk of accidental injury. The biggest issue in the dental sector is the use of syringes and practices will need to ensure that they have adopted safe procedures to comply with the legislation.

Members of the BDTA are happy to work with practices to help with compliance issues and BDTA Executive Director, Tony Reed, comments, "The dental supply chain is working hand in hand with dental teams to ensure that surgeries are able to fully meet the requirements of the new Sharp Instruments legislation."

The industry can offer a range of compliant syringes and dental equipment and Reed adds, "A number of disposable needles and syringes, featuring safety devices to minimise the risk of needle stick injury are already available, with new designs under development."

Manufacturers and suppliers have new single-use cartridge syringes specifically designed to overcome the risks, but they are not yet widely used in practice. One of the reasons for this may be cost, though trials have found that once the cost of the syringe and its sterilisation had been taken into account, disposable syringes and needles can actually provide a cheaper solution.


For more information contact Edmund Proffitt on 01494 781183 or edmundproffitt (at) bdta.org.uk




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