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SIC: Golden Rules of Safety

April 04, 2015

For hospitals that are trying to engage staff members at all levels in sharps safety, it can be difficult to know how to reach each individual and get them involved in the campaign. However, this is crucial when it comes to encouraging a "culture of safety" across an entire organisation, which ensures that risks are minimal in any department.

Safe in Common (SIC) published the '10 Golden Rules of Safety', which could serve as the ideal reminder for healthcare workers in any department.

Key points outlined in the guidance are:

Safety devices should have mechanisms that are automatic and do not interfere with normal practice, while it should also need no additional steps to use, compared to traditional instruments.

Activating a safety mechanism in a device should not mean the healthcare worker has to undertake any additional steps during normal process/protocols providing patient care or create additional occupational hazards or discomfort to the patient.

Any safety devices should be designed with comfort in mind, allowing any staff member to use it with one hand during all stages of the procedure. The safer engineering control should be available in enough sizes and iterations to make it appropriate for all areas of where it could be used in the hospital.

The contaminated, non-sterile sharp will be rendered safe prior to removal or exposure to the environment, and disposal of the safety sharp should not be in higher volumes than traditional devices.

The used safety device will provide convenient disposal and mitigate any risk of reuse or re-exposure of the non-sterile sharp.

These rules were first outlined at Safe in Common’s third online conference “The Unfinished Agenda: When Will Healthcare Worker Sharps Injuries Become a Never Event?”. At the event, Barbara DeBaun, RN, MSN, CIC and improvement advisor for Cynosure HealthCare Environments, highlighted their importance: “For the first time, the most experienced healthcare leaders have joined together to outline what it takes to keep all healthcare personnel safe and free of injury,” she said. “With these rules, we’re getting the industry thinking about where we are and where we need to go to make safety a priority and injuries a never event.”

The Top 10 Golden Rules of Safety can be easily printed and placed in key areas.

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