Mercy Hospital, in Dunedin, has received a national
occupational safety award for eliminating toxic smoke plumes
in operating theatres.
Using smoke evacuation equipment, and international
expertise, the private hospital eliminated electrosurgical
plumes, improving air quality.
The award was the WorkSafe New Zealand best initiative to
address a health hazard, one of the categories in the New
Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards presented at a
gala evening in Auckland on Wednesday.
Mercy staff had reported fewer headaches and respiratory
conditions since the plumes were eliminated, a press release
from the awards said.
Mercy chief executive Richard Whitney said the hospital had
removed a potentially significant long-term health hazard.
''The toxicity of the smoke plume is well documented. From a
sector point of view, it's not that straightforward to
achieve what we've achieved.
''There is capital expenditure involved. There's significant
education training. We're reliant on everyone putting their
shoulder to the wheel to make all this happen.''
He was delighted with the award.
''It really is an absolute buzz - recognition for the staff
right across the organisation for a job well done.''