- Exposure to Blood Borne Viruses (BBVs) via puncture wounds or cuts from scalpels, blades, suture and injection needles, cutting devices, bone fragments or via splashes to mucous membranes.
- Exposure to microorganisms in laser plumes.
- Health hazards such as respiratory problems, allergies and dermatitis.
- Improper handling of compressed gases.
- Latex consumables.
- Smoke plumes from laser or electrosurgical units.
- Waste anaesthetic gases (enflurane, isoflurane, sevoflurane, desfulrane, halothane) due to patient exhalation, poor gas connections or poor maintenance of scavenging system.
- Methyl methacrylamide during bone surgery.
- Cryogenic agents during cryosurgical procedures.
- Hazardous drugs via inhalation or during injection or administration.
- Pain in neck, back or arms.
- Musculoskeletal disorders such as carpel tunnel syndrome.
- Static, awkward postures or sustained postures e.g. forward bent head and neck.
- Poorly designed tools.
- Use of high grip forces.
- Standing for long periods of time, holding limbs, wearing heavy lead aprons.
- Lack of height adjustable work surfaces.
- Poorly designed transport trolleys and storage areas e.g. shelving above shoulder height.
- Lack of job rotation.
- Electric shock.
- Faulty equipment.
- Improperly grounded equipment.
- Overloading of sockets.
- Unsafe work practices.
- Equipment unsuitable for the work environment.
- Electrical leads crossing areas where fluids pool or contact with saline based irrigation.
- Smoke inhalation.
- Use of lasers, electrosurgical or electrocautery equipment.
- Use of fibre optic lights sources and cables.
- Spark production from high speed drills, lasers and electrosurgical units.
- Presence of oxygen enriched environment - oxygen, nitrous oxide, trapping of oxygen under surgical drapes.
- Presence of flammable materials and alcohol based prepping agents.
- Failure to put laser into standby mode when not in use.
- Unmaintained equipment.
- Genetic or reproductive damage.
- Exposure whilst carrying out X-rays, treatments using radioactive implantations, after loading or administration of radioactive therapeutic agents.
- Carrying out emergency procedures on patients who have received therapeutic amounts of radionuclides.
- Lack of PPE.
- Lack of warning signs e.g. on entrance to room.
Manual / Patient Handling
- Back injury, sprains and strains.
- Lack of mechanical handling equipment.
- Improper lifting technique or over exertion.
- Lifting heavy sets / instrument trays, infusion and irrigation fluids.
- Supporting static loads.
- Use of high grip forces in awkward positions.
- Lifting, transferring and repositioning sedated and anaesthetised patients.
- Eye damage / visual problems.
- Skin burns.
- Respiratory problems.
- Electric shock.
- Physical injury.
- Nausea, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue.
- Improper connection and handling of diathermy equipment.
- Lack of shielding / failure to block beams or stray reflections.
- Failure to wear eye protection or follow safe systems of work.
- Inadequate training.
- Lack of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV).
- Laser beams not kept away from flammable liquids, gases and vapours.
- Chemical hazards in laser plumes such as nanoparticles, dusts, and vapours during excision and cauterisation of tissues.
- Microwaves or radio-frequency radiation when performing diathermy surgery.
- Magnetic fields and medical ultrasound.
- Reflected or directly transmitted laser beams.
- Exposure to sharp medical instruments, broken bone fragments, glass from motor vehicle collision patients or needle sticks.
- Handling and passing by hand, instruments, blades, sutures and scissors.
Slips, Trips and Falls
- Minor injuries such as cuts to major injuries such as broken bones, concussion and even death.
- Wet or slippery floors.
- Debris on floor.
- Inappropriately placed electric cables.
- Rushing in emergency situations.
- Loose medical tubing, loose cords and cables.
- Psychological disorders.
- Health effects.
- Attending to severely traumatised patients.
- Coping with multiple disaster victims.
- Making life or death decisions.
- Use of poorly designed or maintained bone drills / saws.
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Note: This is not an exhaustive list of hazards and risks.