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