Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Health and safety in the pharmacy

Photo shows a pharmacist at workWhatever the business, there is always the possibility of an accident or damage to someone's health. All working environments expose people to hazards, be they: dangerous machinery, lethal substances, electricity etc.

Health and safety in the pharmacy is very important for a person’s welfare. This includes safety from physical harm from substances, supplies and equipment. In order to keep yourself and the staff safe and happy, a safe work place needs to be maintained and this involves being aware of the possible hazards. Following the correct procedures in handling pharmaceutical agents that may pose a hazard to the practitioner is also essential in order to prevent irritation or allergic reactions.

Risk assessments

In order to keep everyone safe, the risks within a pharmacy will need to be assessed. This will outline the likeliness of significant harm occurring in the future.

Risk assessments are put in place to take an in-depth look at the pharmacy as a work place and its practices to assess if anything presents a risk to people. Risk assessments are a legal requirement for every employer and bigger businesses (5 or more employees) must write down their findings. As well as a health and safety risk assessment, pharmacies must also carry out a clinical risk assessment. Differentiating between low and high risk scenarios is important in a pharmacy in order to keep pharmacy staff safe.

The area you are working in needs to be adequate and meet the needs of a pharmacy. The pressure is on for pharmacies to remain innovative and modern with their dispensation techniques. Effective product storage and access is the key to a successful pharmacy along with a well-equipped storefront. Appropriate equipment is also needed in order for a pharmacy to run smoothly.

You also have to:

  • report and record accidents
  • provide basic first aid
  • have employers' liability insurance
  • Consult your staff and their representatives

Why is health and safety important in a pharmacy?

  • To protect colleagues and customers
  • To seek new ways of improving health and safety
  • Ensures staff learn from any investigations

Health care waste management policies or plans should include provisions for the constant monitoring of workers health and safety to ensure that prescriptions and drugs are handled and stored correctly. Training in health and safety ensures that workers understand the risks involved with healthcare items and the importance of using protective equipment and protective clothing. Pharmacists must ensure that the correct drugs are being dispensed at the right time and to the right patient.

Registered pharmacies must follow set standards. If you are accountable for more than one pharmacy then management structures are important to make sure that principles are met. Like in any working environment - health and safety is vital in order for a business to run smoothly and keep up with regulations. And overall this results in keeping customers happy.

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