Even with all of the progress that has been made in the last few years, you still probably know at least one colleague who has sustained a BBPE, or perhaps sustained one yourself. Therefore, all employees should use the following guidelines** to protect themselves and others from BBPEs:
- Avoid the use of needles where safe and effective alternatives are available.
- Receive training on safe use of needles, sharps, and PPE.
- Use devices with safety features provided.
- Never break, manipulate, or recap needles.
- Know the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for the process you are about to begin and then use it.
- Plan for safe handling and disposal before beginning any procedure using needles or sharps.
- Dispose of used needles immediately in appropriate sharps disposal containers.
- Report all BBPEs promptly to ensure that you receive appropriate follow-up care and identify ways to prevent future needlesticks. Speak up for Safety!
- Report hazards from needles or sharps that you observe in your work environment to your manager, Employee Health, or through SALT. Speak up for Safety!
For more information about BBPE Prevention, download NIOSH’s brochure: How to Protect Yourself from Needlestick Injuries.
* Foley, Mary and Leyden, Annemarie T., “American Nurses Association- Independent Study Module Needlestick Safety and Prevention,” http://www.who.int/occupational_health/activities/1anaism.pdf
** U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “NIOSH Alert: Preventing Needlestick Injuries in Health Care Settings,” DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2000.108.