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Occupationally-acquired blood-borne viral infection diagnosed

The diagnosis was made in July 2017, but the hospital released no further details about the incident in response to queries from the Medical Independent.

According to statistics supplied by the hospital, there were 108 needle-stick injuries in 2016, and this reduced to 72 last year.

Other workplace injuries, including musculoskeletal injuries, decreased by 22 per cent in 2017, according to the hospital. This is “corroborated by the Health and Safety Department’s observation that HSA [Health and Safety Authority] reportable injuries have also reduced in number.  Most musculoskeletal injuries are managed in consultation with the in-house physiotherapist.”

Musculoskeletal disorders are “a major component of occupational ill health and sickness absence”, according to Beaumont’s Occupational Health Department (OHD). “Our strong rehabilitation ethos is supported by a weekly physiotherapy clinic. We co-direct rehabilitation programmes for acute injuries, as well as non-acute musculoskeletal disorders, incorporating phased return-to-work programmes.”  There were 93 physiotherapy assessments in the OHD in 2017.

Certain employees who are potentially exposed to workplace risks on an ongoing basis require periodic health surveillance, ie, audiometry, infectious disease surveillance, night-worker health checks, visual display unit screening and pregnancy risk assessments.  These activities accounted for 184 assessments in 2017.

A national measles outbreak and an extensive contact tracing review of staff exposed to a case of TB resulted in a dramatic increase in surveillance activity in 2017, according to Beaumont.

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