MANUFACTURING Hospital Operating Theatre Risk Assessment Edinburgh, Scotland
Hospital Operating Theatre Risk Assessment Edinburgh, Scotland
Key Project Elements Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment Ergonomic Assessment
CRA was commissioned to carry out occupational health and safety risk assessments for medical staff working in two operating theatres used for laparoscopic procedures in a large, modern hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. One operating theatre was of a standard design and the other was a new, integrated operating theatre that had been installed by the supplier as a ‘reference installation’ that could be used to demonstrate its advantages to other potential customers. The hardware in use was essentially the same in both operating theatres but there were significant improvements in the ergonomics and connectivity of the equipment in the integrated operating theatre. Risk assessments were undertaken to establish occupational health and safety risks to medical staff working in the operating theatres while operations were underway and during the clean-up and preparatory phases between operations. Existing control measures were noted and interim risk ratings calculated, together with any additional control measures identified that would have reduced the risk to as low as reasonably practicable and calculated the residual risk ratings. The integrated operating theatre offered significant benefits to the surgical and other medical staff working in the theatre, mainly due to the improved ergonomics that were optimised for laparoscopic procedures. Settings for all critical equipment that required regular adjustment during the operation and high definition feeds from the endoscopic camera used internally during the operation were clearly displayed on boom mounted TV screens that could be positioned anywhere in the vicinity of the operating table. The settings of all key equipment could be adjusted by touch screens with clear and unambiguous controls, reducing the risk of erroneous inputs. Other equipment suspended from high level booms was kept clear of the floor, facilitating cleaning of the operating theatre floor between operations. Risk ratings for equivalent tasks undertaken in the standard and integrated operating theatres were compared, demonstrating the reduction in risks to medical staff (and indirectly, the patients) in the integrated operating theatre.