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HSE demands cleaning machine safety improvements

HSE demands cleaning machine safety improvements

Following nosebleeds and burning eyes for some NHS staff, a UK firm has been ordered to tighten up safety measures on its cleaning machines.

Hygiene Solutions’ Deprox machines pump hydrogen peroxide vapour into sealed, empty hospital wards to clean and disinfect them.

However, a four-year investigation into the machines by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has shown that NHS workers have complained of symptoms including burning eyes, chest infections and nosebleeds after entering rooms to operate the machines.

The HSE has told Hygiene Solutions that they need to strengthen their safety measures, and either provide hydrogen peroxide monitoring equipment or make sure that customers are fully aware of the risks involved.

Hydrogen peroxide vaporisers have been used since 2002, when hospitals in Singapore deployed them during a SARS outbreak. US government agencies have also kept machines in preparation for an anthrax attack. Studies have shown that the method can reduce patient contamination from common drug-resistant organisms by up to 64%.

A spokesperson for Kings Lynn-based Hygiene Solutions said that Deprox is: “a ground-breaking technology that when used correctly has been proven to be safe and effective at reducing infections in hospitals.”

The NHS is now said to be using alternative decontamination methods.

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