Controlling exposure to dangerous chemicals when treating surgical instruments

Case study
Lotyšsko
English
2018

Popis

The purpose of this example of good practice was to improve the work environment in the department of sterilisation and disinfection of surgical postoperative instruments.

Through a complex approach, it was possible to minimise the exposure to hazardous chemicals, in particular to ethylene oxide, in the department. This approach consists of the following elements:

1. Exposure was prevented through the use of the latest generation of ethylene oxide steriliser. These sterilisers are safer because they continuously control airflow, ethylene oxide presence and concentration.

2. Additionally, gas analysers have been installed for every area where chemical leakage could occur.

Equipment in which dangerous chemicals are used is kept in fireproof cabinets or in fireproof compartments that have separate exhaust systems, to minimise exposure to the chemicals noticeably.

Workers are trained to handle dangerous chemicals and equipment. Collectors and other equipment are maintained by professionals and experts.

Much attention is paid to fire safety and possible emergency situations.

Other data

Sector / Industry covered: 
ZDRAVOTNÍ A SOCIÁLNÍ PÉČE
Ústavní zdravotní péče
Provider: 
Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital
Tasks covered: 
Cleaning or Disinfecting
Hazard - physical state: 
Aerosols
Gases
Liquids
Hazard - health effects: 
Carcinogens
Mutagens
Reprotoxic substances
Neurotoxic substances
Exposure route: 
Dermal contact
Inhalation
Substance Description: 

Ethylene oxide, used for hospital sterilisation of surgical equipment. Ethylene oxide is a flammable, colourless gas

CAS Number: 
75-21-8
EC number: 
200-849-9
Prevention measures: 
Level 2. Technical measures, e.g. local exhaust ventilation
Level 2. Reducing / minimising the risk by organisational measures, e.g. reducing the number of workers exposed
Level 3. Reducing / minimising the risk by personal measures (PPE)
Training / guidance
Hygiene measures
Purpose of the material: 
Awareness raising
Guidance
Other
Target group: 
Employers
Managers
OSH consultant
Safety officers
Supervisor
Trainers
Workers representatives

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