STOP STICKS CAMPAIGN
Sharps Injuries: Completing the Injury Report
If you sustain a sharps injury, it is very important to report the injury to your employer and to file an injury report. The objective of an injury report is to receive immediate post exposure care and to learn from incidents. An incident analysis should occur, which will help determine the root cause of the incident for the purpose of making system based improvements. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in the U.S. about half of sharps-related injuries to health care workers go unreported. When the employee does not report a sharps injury or the report is completed too hastily, you may be allowing information to get away that might spare another employee from the same or a similar injury.
Critical information to collect for reporting purposes includes the following details:
- Date and time of the exposure
- Procedure or action being performed during the injury
- Specific information about the exposure (e.g., profession, department or unit, shift, injury to user or non-user, etc.)
- Specific type of device being used, if known indicate brand and model
Since confidentiality of both the source patient’s blood test results and the employee sustaining the injury are important to uphold, it is critical to abide by confidentiality requirements established in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)external icon and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Recordsexternal icon.
Reporting requirement: OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (BPS) requires employers to identify, evaluate, and implement safer medical devices including devices with sharps injury protection (SIP) features. The standard mandates reporting specific information in the sharps injury log.
- Information about the injury in a manner that protects the employee’s confidentiality
- Type and brand of the device involved (if known)
- Department or work area in which the exposure occurred
- Explanation of how the exposure occurred:
- How deep was the injury?
- Did the injury occur while the employee was using a safety device?
- Was the protective mechanism activated?