On July 2009 the European social partners HOSPEEM (the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association) and EPSU (European Federation of Public Services Unions) signed a Framework Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector. Council Directive 2010/32/EU of 10 May 2010 implements this Framework Agreement which is an annex to this Directive.
The definitions of "workers", "workplaces covered", "employers", "sharps", "hierarchy of measures", "specific preventative measures", "workers' representatives", "workers' health and safety representatives" and "subcontractor" are in the Annex.
The purpose of the Directive is to implement the Framework Agreement so as:
- to prevent workers' injuries caused by all medical sharps (including needlesticks);
- to protect workers at risk;
- to set up an integrated approach establishing policies in risk assessment, risk prevention, training, information, awareness raising and monitoring;
Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive or shall ensure that the social partners have introduced the necessary measures by agreement by 11 May 2013 at the latest. Moreover, Member States shall determine what penalties are applicable when national provisions enacted pursuant to this Directive are infringed.
The specific content is detailed in the Annex:
The Directive applies to all workers in the hospital and healthcare sector. Employers and workers’ representatives shall work together to eliminate and prevent risks, protect workers’ health and safety, and create a safe working environment following the hierarchy of general principles of prevention via information and consultation. Thorough risk assessment shall be carried out when injury, blood or other potentially infectious material is possible or present. It should focus on how to eliminate these risks. Risk management measures are: specifying and implementing safe procedures (including safe disposal), eliminating unnecessary sharps use, providing safety-engineered medical devices, prohibition of recapping, coherent overall prevention policy, training & information, personal protective devices and offering vaccination. Workers should report any accident to the responsible person; the accident should be investigated and the victim treated.
Framework Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector
Clause 1: Purpose
Clause 2: Scope
Clause 3: Definitions
Clause 4: Principles
Clause 5: Risk assessment
Clause 6: Elimination, prevention and protection
Clause 7: Information and awareness-raising
Clause 8: Training
Clause 9: Reporting
Clause 10: Response and follow-up
Clause 11: Implementation
- HOSPEEM and EPSU. Follow-up on the Directive 2010/32/EU on the prevention from sharps injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector (2019).
- European Biosafety Network. Implementation guidance and a Practical Toolkit for Implementation of European Directive on Prevention from Sharps Injuries (available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish) (2011).