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Safe handling of cytotoxic drugs


In recognition of the potential health and safety risks from working with hazardous substances, including cytotoxic drugs such as Cyclophosphamide, SA Health has developed a policy to describe its position on the safe handling of hazardous drugs and related waste.

Guidelines for safe handling

The policy provides direction to management and workers involved in the management, preparation, transportation and administration of hazardous drugs and related wastes in South Australian hospital and/or community health settings.

Cytotoxic Drugs and Related Waste: A Risk Management Guide for South Australian Health Services details legal obligations and is a significant review of safe handling practices incorporating evidence-based and best-practice standards. It provides a risk management framework to assist in the development and implementation of safe work processes, policies and procedures for the preparation, administration, handling, storage, transportation, disposal and spill management of cytotoxic drugs.

The risk management model provided will also enable healthcare services to assess and evaluate site-specific clinical and operational factors in the development of safe work procedures for the safe handling of other hazardous drugs.

Carcinogens authorisation

Any person using, handling or storing prohibited or restricted  carcinogens must be authorised by SafeWork SA to do so. This is a requirement of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA) (refer to Schedule 10).