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Participation of EORNA in the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2010-11 on Safe Maintenance.


Participation of EORNA in the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2010-11 on Safe Maintenance.
It is a key aim in Perioperative nursing to provide a safe environment for both patients and staff Department. In this regard we enthusiastically support the EU OSH promotion. Currently the emphasis is on ‘Maintenance’. This is a key aspect in all Operating Departments in the interest of patient and staff safety and health.

The Operating Department is a very diverse and complex environment, with many different users. It is also highly technical. Nursing staff are usually the permanent dwellers in the Operating Department and often have the managerial role and responsibility.

Planned maintenance programs are an essential component in the provision of a safe Operating Department environment. The planned monitoring of air changes, gases, water, temperature to name a few, are necessary to ensure the environment meets preset regulations and standards, These standards are set to help create an environment that is safe and optimal for surgical intervention.
Filter changes, bulb replacements, alarm monitoring, fire equipment checks all require regular checking/ replacement and planned preventative maintenance.
The upkeep of Infrastructure is important to ensure integrity of all surfaces and to reduce the potential of harbouring of organisms. Correctly maintained infrastructure allows for optimum cleaning and hygiene standards.

Structural fixtures and fixed equipment also require planned service and recording. This planned preventative maintenance is an essential risk management and health and safety strategy to minimize the risk to patient and staff.

The facilitating of maintenance is also a core responsibility of Operating Department management and often it necessitates planned closure of specific rooms.

Accurate recording and communication systems are a key component in ensuring that non functioning equipment, is identified/ labelled ,removed from use and sent for immediate repair.

We have all a responsibility to contribute to ensuring that the Operating Department is kept in optimum condition and to facilitate necessary maintenance in the best interest of the provision of a safe and healthy workplace. It is important that we are aware of the required standards, regulations and promote the issue of maintenance through out our Operating Departments. We must foster good relations between the various departments such as clinical engineering, maintenance, procurement and theatre to ensure optimal outcomes in relation to this subject.

Caroline Higgins
EORNA President