This good practice guide is for persons conducting a business or undertaking to help keep workers safe when handling cytotoxic drugs and related waste.

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Cytotoxic drugs: Keeping workers safe when handling cytotoxic drugs and related waste (PDF 1.4 MB)

Key points

  • Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA), PCBUs must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers, and that other people’s health and safety is not put at risk by their work.
  • Cytotoxic drugs are hazardous to human health. All PCBUs that work with cytotoxic drugs and related waste must implement effective control measures to protect workers and other people (for example, visitors).
  • This guide provides general advice. PCBUs should also refer to their own (or their industry association’s) health and safety guidance and policies regarding cytotoxic drugs and related waste.

What this guide is about

The purpose of this guide is to help PCBUs that work with cytotoxic drugs and related waste identify and control the health and safety risks of their work, and keep workers and other people, such as visitors to the workplace, safe.

Hospitals are the obvious audience for this guide and the health and safety of nurses, pharmacists, orderlies, cleaners, and laundry workers have all been considered in the advice.

This guide will also be useful for the waste management businesses that collect cytotoxic waste, and pharmaceutical businesses that prepare cytotoxic drugs but are not based at a hospital.