EU Council Directive 2010/32/EU


The purpose of the Directive is to implement the Framework Agreement so as:

  • to prevent workers' injuries caused by all medical sharps (including needlesticks);
  • to protect workers at risk;
  • to set up an integrated approach establishing policies in risk assessment, risk prevention, training, information, awareness raising and monitoring;

Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive or shall ensure that the social partners have introduced the necessary measures by agreement by 11 May 2013 at the latest. Moreover, Member States shall determine what penalties are applicable when national provisions enacted pursuant to this Directive are infringed.

The specific content is detailed in the Annex:

The Directive applies to all workers in the hospital and healthcare sector. Employers and workers’ representatives shall work together to eliminate and prevent risks, protect workers’ health and safety, and create a safe working environment following the hierarchy of general principles of prevention via information and consultation. Thorough risk assessment shall be carried out when injury, blood or other potentially infectious material is possible or present. It should focus on how to eliminate these risks. Risk management measures are: specifying and implementing safe procedures (including safe disposal), eliminating unnecessary sharps use, providing safety-engineered medical devices, prohibition of recapping, coherent overall prevention policy, training & information, personal protective devices and offering vaccination. Workers should report any accident to the responsible person; the accident should be investigated and the victim treated.

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