Sharps Safety – Your Safety – Everyone’s Safety

This week Sharps Safety focuses on incidents and injuries which require to reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) through their Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurence Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) arrangements.

NHS Tayside has a legal requirement to report certain types of incidents to the HSE. In the context of the sharps injuries the following could be recorded for reporting:

  • an employee injured by a sharp known to be contaminated with a blood-borne virus (BBV) e.g. hepatitis B or C or HIV. This is reportable as a Dangerous Occurence
  • an employee receives a sharps injury and a BBV acquired by this route seroconverts. This is reportable as an Occupational Disease **
  • an injury so severe that it must be reported e.g. sharp injury into eye where an impact on sight is likely

In addition to the requirement to RIDDOR report an incident recognised as a Dangerous Occurrence or Occupational Disease it is also important to recognise that the following must trigger a RIDDOR report:

  • an absence of a period of seven or more days
  • inability to carry out normal duties for a period of seven or more days e.g. alteration to duties/taken off clinical work

**Please note that in cases where a period of around 24 weeks needs to be allowed in relation to taking blood samples the incident will be held on DATIX as ‘Not Yet Known’ with regard to RIDDOR to allow correct reporting should a disease develop. If after 24 weeks the bloods indicate no infection then the DATIX can be closed off as not RIDDOR reportable.

Non reportable sharps injuries would be those involving untraceable sharps or clean sharps.

RIDDOR reports must be managed efficiently and effectively to ensure that NHS Tayside’s calculations, in relation to loss events, are based on accurate numbers of RIDDOR reports. An increase in loss events (DATIX RIDDOR incidents) will directly correlate to an increase in insurance instalments and therefore an unnecessary cost to NHS Tayside. The more RIDDORs wrongly reported in the DATIX system the higher the premiums.

Therefore those incidents which have been reported and recorded on the DATIX system as RIDDOR reportable will be reviewed by the Health & Safety Team. Staff may be asked to update their DATIX forms through an email request from

Please ensure that this is actioned as soon as possible.

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