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Area Biomedical Services

Safe Work Practice


Use of mains operated Medical Equipment (Generic)


For the safe, correct use of medical equipment on/for patients- use in close consultation with
the appropriate operators manual for specific instructions and warnings for each device.


Staff trained in the correct and appropriate use, care and handling, of the relevant equipment.

Safety Equipment

Operators manuals
AS2500-2004 Guide to safe use of electricity in patient care


Risk Minimisation

Inappropriate treatment

Trained and competent persons only to use equipment.

Equipment shall be used for its intended purpose only.

Close consultation with operators manual regarding specific safety hazards should be undertaken
prior to use of any medical item.

Inspect the equipment and mains cable for damage prior to use, particularly mobile equipment.

Do not remove power cable from one machine and use in another - this invalidates the safety tests.

Do not place any liquids on or near the equipment, unless it is designed to accommodate this.

Do not remove power cable by pulling the cable; grasp the plug instead after turning the power off
at the wall.

Ensure all cables are placed so that they cannot incur damage during use.

Classification of all equipment and applied parts (if any) should be confirmed as suitable for the
class of procedure being performed (refer to AS2500-2004)

Do not use equipment which has a danger/fault tag on, or attached to, it.

Do not use equipment with signs of electrical breakdown (tingling sensation noted when touching
the cabinet, erratic or abnormal behaviour, smoke, smell or heat, abnormal buzz or hum from within,
abnormal interference or artefact on displays).

Operate switches with dry hands.

Personnel should avoid touching the patient and equipment at the same time.

Personnel should avoid touching the patient during treatment involving delivery of an electric current
(eg defibrillation).

Ensure all cables are placed so they do not cause a trip hazard

Ensure all mobile stands or carts are suitable to accommodate the equipment and their wheels and
brakes operate correctly.

Ensure locks associated with suspended equipment heads operate correctly

Asses weight and position of equipment and use appropriate manual handling guidelines for moving
or lifting.

Infection Control

Ensure all body fluids spilled onto the machine are cleaned off immediately using appropriate
techniques - refer to the appropriate section in the infection control manual


Anaesthetic enriched atmospheres must be treated with extreme caution (explosion hazard) - be
they environmental or in body cavities (other flammable agents are also present in body cavities)especially when electrosurgery is contemplated.

Ensure equipment is used in a non-cluttered and well organised, ventilated area.

Ensure there is no moisture in or around mains operated equipment when in use.


Manual handling


Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) where required.

Revision 1
September 2005
Approved by Biomedical/Clinical Engineering Management Committee

Page 1 of 2

Area Biomedical Services

Safe Work Practice


Check for obvious signs of damage to equipment and power cable (broken case, cuts/fraying cable,
bent pins on plug or exposed inner cables/abraded insulation).

Avoid, where possible, the use of long cable runs as this may compromise the electrical safety

Do not allow equipment to be powered from outside the immediate electrically protected areas since
this may compromise the electrical safety system.

Ensure the power cable does not present a trip hazard or a damage risk (on floor near bed wheels
for example). Ensure cables are uncoiled prior to use.

Do not use double adaptors or piggyback plugs since this may compromise the electrical safety

Ensure operator competency - if in doubt, dont use it.

Check equipment classification and applied parts for procedure being undertaken (refer AS2500).

The operator should confirm that there is a current periodic safety test sticker on the equipment.

Ensure that there is no danger/fault tag on the equipment.

Ensure the correct supply, especially if the unit is powered by a plug pack or similar external power
supply (power packs of different voltages look similar. The incorrect voltage may damage the

Ensure you are in a safe working environment before starting- remove obstacles, clutter or
redundant equipment.

Ensure hands are dry when touching switches or controls.

Plug power cable into the wall outlet and turn the power on.

Turn power on at the designated point on the equipment, check for indications of electrical
breakdown (see above under electrocution), and, if none evident, follow manufacturers operator
instruction manuals and clinical guidelines for the device and patient treatment. If in doubt, switch it
off and replace the equipment.

If required, have Personal Protection Equipment in use for the procedure.

Where equipment is supplied with a self-test facility, the tests should be carried out.

Do not touch the patient and equipment at the same time during treatment.

Do not touch patient during treatment involving administration of electric current.

Position equipment to ensure adequate ventilation and protection against ingress of contaminants.

In case of a Malfunction or the detection of a fault:

Immediately turn the power off at the designated point on the equipment.
Turn the power off at the power point on the wall.
Disconnect equipment from the power supply and/or patient.
Place a danger tag on the equipment- include an accurate description of the fault.
Place faulty equipment in storage area, inform department manager and biomedical engineering.

Post Use


De-energise equipment in accordance with manufacturers recommendations.

It is recommended that all output control knobs should be returned to zero or minimum settings.

Turn off power on designated point on machine and wall outlet.

Remove power cable from wall outlet.

Remove any used consumables from the equipment and patient.

Clean the equipment.

Place power cable in an appropriate position off the floor.

When coiling power cables wind cable in direction of natural coil (furl) NOT against coil. This
assures the cable does not develop waves and will remain flat on the floor minimising tripping

Store in an appropriate location (on charge if a battery backup is involved).

Any equipment faults or abnormalities should be reported immediately and fault/danger tags used.

Revision 1
September 2005
Approved by Biomedical/Clinical Engineering Management Committee

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