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Innovative solution for staff safety

4 April 2006

Innovative solution for staff safety

Barry Daniel has come up with a solution to manage sharp bins in vans and cars to ensure the safety of public health nurses - including his wife.

For more than three years, Bay of Plenty District Health Board has been trying to find a way to keep sharps bins, which are used to dispose of used needles, in an upright position when transporting them around in the community.

Efforts to find a solution to prevent the bins from tipping over have included phone calls to the suppliers of the bins to see if they would come up with a product to prevent the bins from tipping, and strapping the bins in with seatbelts. But it was Adolescent Health Nurse Beth Daniel's husband that eventually found the health board the right solution.

An engineer by trade, all it took was one car ride with Beth, her colleague Karen Thomas, and their sharps bins for Barry to find a way to prevent the bins from falling.

Barry went to work and created some simple steel frames, including carry handles, which sit in the boot of the car, and hold the sharps bins in a secure position to prevent them from tipping, and potentially cause the needles to surface creating a danger when the bins are opened. Bay of Plenty District Health Board Health and Safety Manager Ted Harper says that the frames are essential to protect vaccinators, who were out in the community for nine months last year vaccinating children against MeNZB.

Public Health Nurses carry out a number of community vaccinations, including Year 7 and 8 students in schools each year.


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