Injury Prevention Resources for Health Care - Infectious Disease
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The following links list tools, publications, and other resources to help prevent the most common injuries and illnesses in the health care industry. These resources may not meet all the requirements for health and safety in British Columbia. Please check the Workers Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and related materials for specific WorkSafeBC requirements.
Getting the full benefits of safety-engineered medical sharps
A nurse contracted hepatitis C after her finger was punctured by a contaminated needle while
assisting a physician to set up an IV catheter. The device was a safety-engineered needle. This
incident highlights that, in addition to the use of safety-engineered medical sharps (SEMDs),
other measures must also be taken to minimize the risk of injury from sharps.
* WorkSafe Bulletin 2012-03
Dated: July 2012
Controlling Exposure: Protecting workers from infectious disease
Changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation in British Columbia have expanded the regulatory requirements for infectious diseases beyond blood and body fluids. Preventive action is now required for any infectious disease that is found in the workplace and may pose a risk to workers. Workers in healthcare are at greater risk of exposure to infectious diseases; however, the information in this publication is relevant to every industry in B.C.
This book describes common infectious diseases and how they are spread, and explains how to protect workers from exposure to infectious diseases. This book replaces the older publication HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis B and C: Preventing Exposure at Work (BK38).
* PDF (1.9 MB)
* Print copies are available for purchase from the WorkSafeBC Store
Dated: March 2009
Surgical masks are NOT respirators
Surgical masks and disposable respirators have a similar appearance and both provide a
barrier that covers your nose and mouth; however, there is a great deal of difference in the
protection they provide.
* PDF (140 KB)
Dated: July 2009
Worker stuck by contaminated needle
A dental assistant was trying to remove the needle from a re-capped syringe. The syringe had been used to administer anaesthetic to a patient. When the assistant tried to remove the needle, the cap fell off. While trying to put the cap back on the needle, she pricked her finger.
* Hazard Alert Injury 2009-07
Dated: May 2009
Preventing Needlesticks: Activate and dispose (video)
||Needlestick injuries are the number one cause of exposure to HIV and Hepatitis C among health care workers. This video depicts the emotional impact of needlestick injuries to health care workers and their families.
* Video (1 min 05 sec)
Stuck by a Needle (video)
||Needlestick injuries are the number 1 cause of high risk exposures to blood and body fluids for healthcare workers. See what to do if you are stuck by a needle.
* Video (2 min 04 sec)
Stuck by a Needle (poster)
This poster provides the reader with information on what to do if they are stuck by a needle.
* PDF (2 MB)
Dated: June 2007
* PDF in Chinese (298 KB)
Dated: November 2007
Influenza Transmission and the Role of Personal Protective Respiratory Equipment: Assessments
This report represents the consensus findings of the Expert Panel (including Bob Janssen of WorkSafeBC) on Influenza and Personal Protective Respiratory Equipment.
Council of Canadian Academies (Report in Focus)
Dated: December 2007
Wash your hands (posters)
This poster is a quick reminder about the importance of washing your hands to help prevent the spread of infectious disease.
* PDF (38 KB)
(English - orange colour)
* PDF (866 KB)
(English - brown colour)
* PDF (2 MB)
(English - red colour)
* PDF (204 KB)
(English - purple colour)
* PDF (124 KB)
iLávese las Manos (Spanish)
Dated: August 2010
Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Tuberculosis in Canadian Health Care Facilities and Other Institutional Settings
"This document has been prepared to assist Canadian health care facilities and health care workers (HCWs) to develop and implement effective programs within their institutions to minimize transmission of the organisms that cause tuberculosis (TB)."
Health Canada, Population and Public Health Branch
"This website has helpful documents and tools to enable people to plan and be better prepared for an influenza pandemic. The information is organized by topics, resource types and audience to make it easy for people to find what they need."
CCOHS (Canadian Centre Occupational Health and Safety)
Protecting Health Care Workers from Infectious Diseases: A self-assessment tool
"This assessment tool was developed to assist HCO's identify strengths and to provide opportunities for the enhancement of their occupational health program with respect to infection control. The goal of this tool is the protection of health care workers from the transmission of infectious diseases in the workplace. This tool does not address infection control issues related to patient safety."
Ontario Safety Association for Community & Healthcare
* PDF (576 KB)
Guidelines for Infection Prevention and Control in the Physician's Office
"Over the last 10 years several new viral pathogens have appeared in human populations both here in B.C. and abroad (Avian Influenza H5N1 and SARS-CoV). We have also seen the re-emergence of other well known infectious diseases such as measles and TB. It is time to reassess our current practice patterns and commit to a 'NEW STANDARD' for infection prevention and control in the outpatient setting."
B.C. Centre for Disease Control
* PDF (339 KB)
Dated: October 2004
Infection Control (online learning tool)
This online learning course is designed to provide healthcare workers with an understanding of infection control basics. It will apply to any worker regardless of the care facility.
Provincial Health Services Authority of B.C.
Infection Control in Dental Settings
A topic portal.
Division of Oral Health, CDC
Infectious Diseases in High-Risk Communities
WorkSafeBC hosted a half-day information session on "Infectious Diseases in High-Risk Communities" for social service and community care employers and workers.
The focus was on current and emerging trends in infectious diseases in high-risk communities, including MRSA and TB.
- agenda (PDF 16 KB)
- Infection Control in the Community (PDF 1 MB), Presented by Réka Gustafson, MD FRCPC, Medical Health Officer, Director of Communicable Disease Control, Vancouver
- Protecting Workers from Infectious Diseases - Compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (PDF 2 MB), Presented by Geoffrey A. Clark, M.Sc., CIH, ROH, RPBio, Senior Occupational Hygienist, WorkSafeBC
Safe Needle Information Session
This session reviewed the occupational health and safety regulation changes for safety engineered needles effective January 1, 2008.
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