New website helps healthcare organisations reduce risk of sharps injuries

10 December 2012

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), has launched a website to help healthcare organisations comply with the EU Directive on the prevention of sharps injuries.

The EU Directive on sharps injury prevention[1] provides framework for eliminating sharps injuries, and must be incorporated into national law in all EU member states by 11 May 2013 at the latest. BD’s new safety website is designed to help healthcare workers and their organisations comply with this new legislation.

Every day, healthcare workers across Europe are at risk of sharps injuries, which can result in possible infection from 30 potentially dangerous blood-borne pathogens, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV[2]. Sharps injuries are a serious occupational hazard faced by healthcare workers, with an estimated one million occurring in the European Union each year[3], and more than 100,000 every year in the UK alone[4].

Forward-thinking healthcare organisations across Europe have already realised the benefit of introducing safer working practices before the mandatory deadline, and have acted early. Introducing a culture of safety rests on affecting change at a number of levels.

Kim Sunley, Senior Employment Relations Advisor, Royal College of Nursing (RCN), says, “The RCN played a key role in calling for the EU Directive, which presents us with a great opportunity to lead the way, and there’s no reason why hospitals in the UK can’t set the standard. Working alongside BD has helped to reflect the importance of the nursing voice as we try to reduce the risk of sharps injuries. By working together with healthcare professionals and management, we can create a culture of safety for all nursing staff.”

Alexandre Conroy, President, Western Europe, BD, reinforces BD’s stance on safety: “BD is committed to raising awareness of the everyday risks faced by healthcare workers, and the precautions they can adopt to improve safety. We hope that this new website will become an important portal for the provision of information, guidance and best practice in the industry.”

The new safety website also provides an overview of BD’s newly launched healthcare worker safety programme. The website, currently available in English, can be found at:

French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and other language versions of the website will also be launched.


1. EU Council Directive 2010/32/EU

2. European Biosafety Workshop; Prevention of sharps injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector; Implementation guidance for the EU Framework Agreement, council directive and associated national legislation.

3. EU Commission for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, New legislation to reduce injuries for 3.5 million healthcare workers in Europe, 8th March 2010:

4. Health and Safety Executive, Management and prevention of sharps injuries: Inspection of NHS Trusts 2010/2011 by Occupational Health Inspectors, 1st July 2010-11-10: 


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