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Biological Agents

Risk of:

  • Infection e.g. Legionnaires' disease, CJD, Blood Borne Viral diseases.

Possible causes:

  • Exposure to contaminated medical instruments e.g. via needlestick or sharp injury or contact with contaminated instruments.
  • Mould growth due to high humidity levels.
  • Environmental exposure via ventilation or water systems.

Chemical Agents

Risk of:

  • Health effects such as respiratory problems, allergies or dermatitis.
  • Fire.
  • Explosion.

Possible causes:

Exposure to:

  • Disinfectants and detergents.
  • Dust and fibres.
  • Ethylene oxide gas and mercury.
  • Latex consumables.
  • Nickel and chrome whilst handling or cleaning medical instruments.
  • Use of flammable gases.

Lack of:

  • Ventilation.
  • Appropriate PPE.

Electricity

Risk of:

  • Fire.
  • Electrocution.
  • Burns.

Possible causes:

  • Equipment unsuitable for use in damp or wet environment.
  • Contact of equipment with water.
  • Faulty equipment.
  • Overloading of sockets.
  • Unsafe work practices.

Equipment

Risk of:

  • Burns.
  • Cuts.
  • Explosion.
  • Physical injury.
  • Death.

Possible causes:

  • Handling or sorting hot sterilised items or sharp instruments.
  • Exposure to hot objects or steam during sterilisation.
  • Lack of appropriate PPE such as gloves.
  • Inadequate maintenance or inappropriate use of high pressure equipment such as autoclaves.

 

Ergonomic Hazards

Risk of:

  • Pain in back, hands or arms.

Possible causes:

  • Standing for long periods of time.
  • Repetitive motions such as reaching or stretching.
  • Bending over sinks.
  • Poor workstation / computer design or set up.

Manual Handling

Risk of:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders.

Possible causes:

  • Carrying or lifting heavy loads.
  • Pushing or pulling overloaded trolleys.

Noise

Risk of:

  • Hearing damage or loss.
  • Physiological effects.
  • Work related stress.
  • Increased risk of accidents.

Possible causes:

  • Prolonged exposure to noisy equipment.

Non Ionising Radiation

Risk of:

  • Heating / skin burns.
  • Eye damage - cataracts.

Possible causes:

  • Exposure to UV light.

Sharps

Risk of:

  • Cuts.
  • Infection.

Possible causes:

  • Exposure to sharp items or equipment.

 

 

Slips,Trips & Falls

Risk of:

  • Minor injuries such as cuts to major injuries such as broken bones, concussion and even death.

Possible causes:

  • Slippery or wet floors.
  • Trailing cables.
  • Poor housekeeping.

 

Temperature

Risk of:

  • Heat stress.
  • Burns.

Possible causes:

  • High temperature and humidity.
  • Heat from steam / hot water.

 

Wet Work

Risk of:

  • Dermatitis.

Possible causes:

  • Handling and using aqueous solutions for long periods of time.

Further Information

For further information on related controls click here.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of hazards and risks.