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Directive 2010/32/EU Has Been Approved


The Council of Ministers has approved directive 2010/32/EU on prevention from sharps injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector.

 On 14th February 2013 the government has approved the decree to implement 2010/32/EU which implements the framework agreement negotiated by HOSPEEM and EFPSU on prevention from sharps injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector.
This legislation aims at reducing the number of accidental sharps injuries in the healthcare sector, in order to increase health and safety in the workplace and reduce the costs related to these accidents. The legislative decree mirrors the text of the directive closely, a few minor alterations were just requested by parliamentary committees, and sets the rules to ensure prevention and safety.

The duty to ensure safety falls on the employer, who shall make sure that healthcare workers (students who are doing practical training and suppliers included) are trained and equipped with the necessary resources to work in safety and are able to implement the measures to remove or reduce the risk of injury or infection, thanks to a global prevention policy that takes into account the latest technology; the employer shall also promote active participation on the part of workers and their representatives in the development of global prevention policies. Moreover, employers shall never deem a risk as non-existent, they shall always monitor safety conditions in the workplace and give top priority to preventive measures.

gazzetta-ufficiale 01Not only is the employer’s duty to make sure that workers use sharps only when strictly necessary, but an employer shall also ensure optimal and safe disposal of contaminated waste , by using clearly-labelled safe containers to carry and dispose of sharps.

When an accident involving sharps does occur, a system should be already in place so that the worker can get immediate care, including appropriate medical tests, post-exposure prophylaxis and even counselling, if needed. The employer is also responsible for the reporting of incidents and shall also ensure the monitoring of all events, in order to implement preventive measures, ensuring the worker’s privacy all the while.

The decree also includes penalties for the employers who fail to comply with the requirements, that is thet fail to assess risk properly and fail to put into place appropriate preventive measures. The decree states that non-compliant employers shall incur administrative penalties such as fines ranging from 2,740 to 7,014.40€ and criminal penalties such as a prison sentence ranging from 3 to 6 months.

With the implementation of Directive 2010/32/EU an array of definitions has been made clear and another step towards bringing Italian law in line with EU rules and regulations has been made.



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