NHS European Office

Protecting healthcare workers from sharps injuries

03 / 05 / 2013

Regulations implementing EU law (the “Sharps Directive”) come into force across the UK on 11 May 2013. All NHS employers and employees need to be aware of and act upon the additional requirements (over and above existing health and safety legislation) resulting from the new regulations. This Briefing outlines the key changes and their implications for the NHS.

New regulations on the prevention of sharps injuries will apply from 11 May 2013.

They apply only to employers, contractors and workers in the healthcare sector (whether public or private).

Many of the requirements form part of existing health and safety law in the United Kingdom, but the regulations also
introduce extra, more specific, requirements.

The NHS European Office and NHS Employers have worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive and with employers’ organisations and trade unions in Europe, to try to ensure that the new rules are sensible and workable for the NHS.

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