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Ministry of Health, New South Wales, (NSW)

Work Health and Safety - Controlling Exposure to Surgical Plume

Document Number GL2015_002

Publication date 19-Jan-2015

  • To provide guidance to NSW Health Organisations in meeting their duty of care under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (WHS Regulation) in eliminating risk, and if not reasonably practicable, to minimise risk associated with surgical plume.
  • This guideline applies to all NSW Health Organisations and all other bodies and organisations under the control and direction of the Minister for Health or the Secretary of the NSW Ministry of Health where facilities under their control create surgical plume, such as in: operating theatres; dental clinics; morgues during autopsy; laboratories/research and testing facilities.

Click here to view regulation.

Recommended Practices & Standards:

Australian College of Operating Room Nurses (ACORN)

ACORN is a professional organization that develops standards and recommendations to promote excellence in perioperative care. The following is ACORN's standard:

  • Standard S20
    • Personnel shall utilize appropriate equipment and procedures to prevent exposure to surgical plume
    • Exposure to surgical plume shall be minimized during the surgical procedure
    • Surgical smoke capture devices shall be available for use during procedures in which surgical smoke is generated (ACORN 2006)

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