Safety and hygiene

It is a legal requirement that therapists comply with certain regulations and important that therapists become familiar with the details of these acts.

Health and Safety Legislation Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations, many substances that seem to be harmless can sometimes prove to be hazardous if incorrectly used or stored. It is the employer’s responsibility to regularly carry out a risk assessment to assess which could be a risk to health from exposure and to ensure that these are recorded.

Personal protective equipment should be provided, and staff training should be carried out if required. Hazardous substances can enter the body via Contact/Absorption, Inhalation, and Ingestion

All suppliers must legally provide guidelines on how their materials should be stored and used.

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

The requirements from this act are met if you comply with the COSHH regulations. All employers must provide suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) to all employees who may be exposed to any risk while at work. https://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/

The Environmental Protection Act 1990

This act states that all waste must be disposed of safely. It is important to exercise care when disposing of surplus/out of date stock and manufacturer’s guidance should be sought. If unsure ask the manufacturer to dispose of the stock for you.

Inspection and registration of premises the local authority’s Environmental Health Department enforces the Health and Safety at Work Act. The environmental health officer visits and inspects the premises. Any area of danger is identified by the inspector, and it is then the employer’s responsibility to remove the danger within a stated period. If the employer fails to comply, this then can lead to prosecution. The inspector has the authority to close the business until he or she is satisfied that all dangers to the public and employees have been removed.

Sterilisation and sanitisation

Sterilisation is the destruction of all living micro-organisms and their spores. It can be used for metal and plastic tools and can be carried out with an autoclave, chemical sterilisers, or a glass bead steriliser. Always wash tools in warm soapy water before sterilising, to remove grease, as the sterilisation will not be effective.

Sanitisation is the destruction of some but not all micro-organisms. It inhibits their growth. It is used for many tools, surfaces, and floors.  Methods of sanitisation include UV cabinets, surgical spirit, sanitising spray and barbicide. 

You can complete an online test for this https://barbicide.com/certification/