BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) has launched a new Europe-wide safety website, designed to help healthcare organisations improve healthcare worker safety and comply with impending legislation on sharps injury prevention. The website can be found at: http://www.bd.com/europe/safety.
Every day, healthcare workers across Europe are at risk of sharps injuries, which can result in possible infection from 30 potentially dangerous blood-borne pathogens, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV[i]. Sharps injuries are a serious occupational hazard faced by healthcare workers, with an estimated one million occurring in the European Union each year[ii], and more than 100,000 every year in the UK alone[iii].
Forward-thinking healthcare organisations across Europe have already realised the benefit of introducing safer working practices before the mandatory deadline, and have acted early. The benefits of taking this approach are clear, and for organisations representing nurses and healthcare workers, introducing a culture of safety rests on affecting change at a number of levels.
Kim Sunley, Senior Employment Relations Advisor, Royal College of Nursing (RCN), says, “The RCN played a key role in calling for the EU Directive, which presents us with a great opportunity to lead the way, and there’s no reason why hospitals in the UK can’t set the standard. Working alongside BD has helped to reflect the importance of the nursing voice as we try to reduce the risk of sharps injuries. By working together with healthcare professionals and management, we can create a culture of safety for all nursing staff.”
The EU Directive on sharps injury prevention[iv] provides a much needed opportunity to establish a mandatory framework for eliminating sharps injuries, and must be incorporated into national law in all EU member states by 11 May 2013 at the latest. BD’s new safety website is designed to help healthcare workers and their organisations comply with this new legislation.
Alexandre Conroy, President, Western Europe, BD, reinforces BD’s stance on safety: “BD is committed to raising awareness of the everyday risks faced by healthcare workers, and the precautions they can adopt to improve safety. We hope that this new website will become an important portal for the provision of information, guidance and best practice in the industry.”
The new safety website also provides an overview of BD’s newly launched healthcare worker safety programme. This comprehensive package takes a holistic approach to safety, providing the tools and advice necessary to make needlestick injury a thing of the past. Health economics, risk assessment, conversion management and training are all crucial elements. The site also includes an overview of BD’s range of safety-engineered medical devices, as well as further useful resources. BD provides an extensive set of tools to support institutions as they work to achieve a straightforward, seamless and cost-effective transition to safer working practices and comply with the new EU Directive.