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Title: Types of Safety Features
Type: Picture Slide
Content: Includes an illustration of an arrow with pointing down in two directions. Left arrow is labeled Active vs. Passive. Right arrow is labeled Integrated vs. Accessory.
What are some of the types of safety features used in safer needle devices?
The types of safety features used in safer needle devices can be categorized according to certain aspects of the safety feature, i.e. whether the feature is active or passive and whether or not the engineering control is part of the device (Chiarello, 1995).
Passive safety features remain in effect before, during and after use; health care workers do not have to activate them. Passive features enhance the safety design and are more likely to have a greater impact on prevention.
Active devices require the health care worker to activate the safety mechanism. Failure to do so leaves the worker unprotected. Proper use by health care workers is the primary factor in the effectiveness of these devices.
An integrated safety design means that the safety feature is built in as an integral part of the device and cannot be removed. This design feature is preferred.
An accessory safety device is a safety feature that is external to the device and must be carried to or temporarily or permanently fixed to the point of use. This design also is dependent on employee compliance and, according to some researchers, is less desirable.