BDTA Statement on the Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013

From 11 May all dental practices will have to ensure that they comply with The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 – this means that dental practices must avoid the unnecessary use of sharps.  Where it is not possible avoid the use of medical sharps, the new law requires employers to use ‘safer sharps’ where it is reasonably practicable to do so. A ‘safer sharp’ is defined as one that incorporates features or mechanisms to prevent or minimise the risk of accidental injury.

The biggest issue in the dental sector is the use of syringes and practices will need to ensure that they have adopted safe procedures to comply with the legislation.  Members of the BDTA are happy to work with practices to help with compliance

issues and BDTA Executive Director, Tony Reed, comments, ‘The dental supply chain is working hand in hand with dental teams to ensure that surgeries are able to fully meet the requirements of the new Sharp Instruments legislation.’  The industry can offer a range of compliant syringes and dental equipment and Reed adds, “A number of disposable needles and syringes, featuring safety devices to minimise the risk of needle stick injury are already available, with new designs under development”.

Manufacturers and suppliers have new single-use cartridge syringes specifically designed to overcome the risks, but they are not yet widely used in practice. One of the reasons for this may be cost, though trials have found that once the cost of the syringe and its sterilisation had been taken into account, disposable syringes and needles can actually provide a cheaper solution.

The BDTA represents and supports manufacturers and suppliers of dental products, services and technologies, to the benefit of members, the dental profession and the public.  BDTA members gain access to a range of services designed to benefit them and promote the well being of the industry as a whole and the profession gains the reassurance of dealing with like-minded individuals who are committed to providing a high quality standard of service.

The BDTA is a non-profit making organisation which means that any surplus funds generated from activities such as BDTA Dental Showcase are ploughed back into dentistry either directly or by supporting and working with the other professional dental bodies.

For more information contact Edmund Proffitt on 01494 781183 or