Archive Employee & Patient Safety 2012

Our Hands-Off Approach to Sharps Safety

Inside the change in practice that caught OSHA's eye.

Vangie Dennis

Vangie Dennis, RN, CNOR, CMLSO


sharps safety policies WITHIN REACH Sharps safety policies should address how and when instruments can be passed.

There was no formal sharps handling policy in place at my ASC when I took the reins as its administrative director early last year. The OR staff was clearly fortunate to have avoided many sharps injuries up to that point, but when sticks and cuts began to occur with greater frequency, we knew safeguards were needed. Shielding staff took more than just switching out traditional scalpels for safety-engineered sharps, however. Here's a step-by-step guide for implementing our sharps handling policy, the one OSHA representatives cite as an example of sharps safety done right.

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