Ask the expert: Scalpel blade removal

By: September 29th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: If our facility does not use disposable safety scalpels, is it okay to remove the blade by hand?

A: Removing scalpel blades is noncompliant unless “the employer can demonstrate that no alternative is feasible or that such action is required by a specific medical or dental procedure,” according to the November 21, 2008, interpretation letter “OSHA’s position on the use of fingers or a two-handed procedure with a hemostat to remove scalpel blades.” In short, you should be using safety scalpels.

If there is a documented medical necessity, “blade removal must be accomplished through the use of a mechanical device or a one-handed technique,” explains the letter.

Citations involving the unnecessary capping, bending, or removal of needles and sharps in medical practices average $1,300, according to an OSHA report appearing in the September issue of Medical Environment Update.

Get into compliance with HCPro’s Basic OSHA Compliance Manual Kits for medical or dental practices. Receive bimonthly electronic manual updates through your newsletter subscription that keep your regulatory manual up to date and in compliance!

Comments

Hello,
Thanks again for all you info. I’m trying to get a correct answer. Does the qlicksmart blade removal system meet OSHA laws when pertaining to Funeral Services industries (Mortuary)..!!

please explain…..thanks

 

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