Health & Safety

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 generalises the responsibilities of the employer, employee and members of the public to prevent accidents or harm to an individual

It qualifies that the duties are employed ‘so far as reasonably practicable’; the measures to lessen or avoid risk need to be proportional to the risk.

With regards to establishing a spirometry service, to dispose of an inexpensive mouthpiece for instance, is proportional to the risk of cross infection between patients. To completely disinfect a spirometer between patients, including dismantling, disinfecting, reassembling and re-calibrating of equipment will take time and resources, and is considered disproportional to the risk of cross infection as a mouthpiece filter can be used successfully.

There are also local policies which are more specific to the individual work environments. The employers and staff need to be familiar with national and local health and safety policies. It will be necessary to produce health and safety guidelines for the specific department, in addition to basic or intermediate life support, manual handling and hand washing techniques.

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