The Dentist Magazine.

Needlestick safety survey

Published: 09/03/2017

Clinical waste and needlestick safety expert Initial Medical is running an online survey in conjunction with the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), into the incidence of needlestick injuries amongst dental nurses working in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. 

The research is designed to gain insight into needlestick practices and injury levels of dental nurses, so that training and sharps safety provision can be effectively tailored.

Jane Dalgarno, president of the British Association of Dental Nurses, comments,“This is a follow up to our 2014 survey to see if, three years on, the Safer Sharps Regulations have made any difference to the number of needlestick injuries being suffered.  In the 2014 survey, just over half (51 per cent) of the 1,216 respondents reported that they had received a needlestick injury, with 60 per cent of these having had more than one needlestick injury at work, and 11 per cent having had a needlestick injury within the last year.”  

In the UK, a small, but still troubling, number of healthcare workers develop potentially life-threatening diseases as a result of a sharps injury. The survey will ask questions around whether dental nurses have ever had a needlestick injury, how many they have had, how they obtained them and how they were handled, as well as some further questions around the needlestick safety regulations.

Rebecca Allen, category manager for Initial Medical, says, “Needlestick safety is a very important issue for the whole dental team. Handling sharps is part of your every day routine as a dental nurse, so it is easy to become complacent. However, when you consider the risk of infection following a needlestick injury is estimated to be one in three for HBV, one in 30 for HCV and one in 300 for HIV, it is vital that best practice and the Health & Safety (Sharps Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 are complied with.”

BADN is encouraging all dental nurses to take part in the survey, which can be found at

The results of the study will be published in the British Dental Nurses' Journal and on the BADN and Initial Medical websites later in the year.

For further information please visit or Tel: 0870 850 4045.