- Exposure to infected blood, body fluids or tissues via aerosols from bone / band saw and tissue sectioning especially TB infected lungs.
- Direct skin contact e.g. verminous bodies.
- Needlestick, bone or sharp medical instrument inoculation / puncture wounds.
- Direct splashes or spillages of infectious material.
- Incorrect or careless work technique e.g. failure to adhere to hygiene procedures.
- Exposure to infected water aerosols due to stagnation of water in water system or failure to store and distribute water at correct temperatures.
- Use of improper equipment e.g. wooden blocks or rulers, cracked equipment such as porcelain sinks.
- Health effects.
- Latex allergies.
- Lack of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) maintenance and servicing.
- Chemical incompatibility such as mixing formaldehyde and hypochlorite.
- Formaldehyde, disinfectants, fixatives and solvents during the autopsy process or subsequent processing of tissue or cleaning of the environment.
- Dust when cutting bone.
- Material ingested by the autopsy case.
- Latex consumables
- Electric shock.
- Equipment not suitable for a wet area or environment with potentially flammable vapours.
- Contact of water with electricity during post mortem and cleaning.
- Incorrectly or poorly maintained fittings and connections.
- Unguarded bandsaw or bone cutting equipment.
- Equipment that is not easy to disinfect being used e.g. cracked porcelain slabs, wooden head rests or body supports.
- Poorly maintained autoclave.
- Pain in the back, neck or arms.
- Poor posture due to inappropriate bench height, poor lighting, insufficient or badly designed work areas.
- Use of computers.
- Static, awkward or sustained postures.
- Adverse health effects - cancer.
- Genetic defects.
- Exposure to nuclear powered cardiac pacemakers or radionuclides in the body following their use for diagnosis and / or treatment.
- Use of X-ray equipment.
Manual / Patient Handling
- Musculoskeletal disorders.
- Moving and lifting the deceased or heavy loads.
- Manoeuvring trolleys.
- Lack of adjustable equipment or handling aids such as hoists or trolleys.
- Hearing damage or loss.
- Physiological effects.
- Work related stress.
- Increased risk of accidents.
- Prolonged exposure to noisy equipment.
- Accidental cuts with sharp instruments, blades, bone fragments or corners of fittings.
Slips, Trips and Falls
- Minor injuries such as cuts to major injuries such as broken bones, concussion and even death.
- Uneven, slippery, obstructed or poorly lit walkways or floors.
- Trailing cables.
- Poor housekeeping.
- Presence of fluids on floor.
- Poor drainage.
- Psychological disorder.
- Health effects.
- Dealing with constant emotionally fraught situations / the bereaved.
- Unsociable hours.
- Being hit or run over by a vehicle.
- Reversing vehicles e.g. hearses, relatives' vehicles.
- Lack of traffic management.
- Poor workplace layout.
For further information on related controls click here.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of hazards and risks.