What is the EU Sharps Directive and when does it take effect?
The EU Sharps Directive sets forth a framework for implementing a European-level initiative for adopting best practices to ensure the safest possible working environment for healthcare workers.
On 10 May 2010, the directive was introduced as a way to prevent injuries and blood-borne infections to healthcare workers from sharp instruments. European Union member states must implement directive provisions within their national legislation by 11 May 2013.
Why is the EU Sharps Directive being introduced?
The EU Sharps Directive came about in response to the fact that needlestick injuries are one of the most serious health and safety threats for healthcare workers. In fact, an estimated one million needlestick injuries occur in Europe each year1, not taking into account the number of unreported events. These injuries are of concern as they bear the danger of infections by blood-borne pathogens including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. It probably goes without saying that needlestick injuries, in addition to being expensive, cause severe distress for affected healthcare workers and their families2. In the UK it is estimated that needlestick injuries cause costs of approximately 500,000 GBP per year for each NHS Trust.3
What information is contained in the EU Sharps Directive?
The EU Sharps Directive sets a framework in place that includes measures for how to address risk assessment, risk prevention, training and information, awareness raising and monitoring and response and follow-up procedures in relation to sharps injuries.
To read more information about the directive, please consult the additional information below:
- EU Sharps Directive – COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2010/32/EU
- European Biosafety Network – Toolkit for Implementation of European Directive on Prevention from Sharps Injuries in Member States
In light of the EU Sharps Directive, Mölnlycke Health Care is able to offer a selection of safety devices that have engineered features built into the product design to assist in preventing needlestick injuries. These components can be incorporated into current ProcedurePak® tray specification(s) and into any new tray configurations.