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Sharps Risks - Broken Skin

Unbroken skin is an effective barrier against many forms of hazardous substances that are unable to penetrate through the various layers in order to reach the bloodstream. However, if the skin is broken, it is much easier for foreign chemicals or biological agents to enter the body and the bloodstream. Once there, they can multiply and/or destroy the body's existing cells and cause illness or in severe cases, death.

Sharp objects can penetrate and tear the skin to create an opening from which airborne agents can enter. Also, the sharp object itself may transfer a virus as it penetrates the skin. One example of this is a discarded needle which may introduce viruses such as hepatitis or HIV into the bloodstream.

Viruses and biological agents are not the only reasons for avoiding sharp objects. If the cut is severe, it can lead to excessive blood loss or permanent scarring, not to mention being extremely painful in the short term!

In order to avoid the ill-effects caused by sharp objects, it is vital that those workers who have the potential to encounter sharps risks which could pose a hazard to their health have suitable sharps training which gives them the knowledge of the risks, the correct use of personal protective equipment etc. Through a combination of common sense, protective equipment and the knowledge gained through relevant health and safety training will enable them to work more safely and help them avoid sharps injuries and the related consequences that come with an injury by a sharp object.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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