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2007 Decontamination of Equipment Prior to Service or Repair Policy
(68 kB)
Permit to Work Form
(22 kB)









Decontamination of Equipment Prior to Service or Repair (Permit to Work)

Page updated 30 April 2007

Decontamination of Equipment Prior to Service or Repair ("Permit to Work" Procedure)

Key Points

Contaminated medical equipment must be made safe before service or repair.

There is a duty of care to inform engineers and others that equipment is safe or unsafe by using a Permit to Work Form and must be filled in by a nurse before work starts or before equipment is taken away.


Anyone who inspects, services repairs or transports medical, dental or laboratory equipment either on hospital premises or elsewhere has a right to expect that the equipment has been appropriately treated to minimise the risk of infection. Documentation is required to indicate the contamination status of the item.

This procedure refers to medical equipment from clinical areas sent for repair, servicing or decontamination to the following departments:

The procedure is designed to protect personnel handling the equipment from the risk of acquiring infection. This includes all staff working within the trusts and also those working for outside manufacturing commercial companies who are entitled to request a certificate of decontamination before accepting equipment for servicing.

The procedure does not apply to the processing of SSD instruments or linen. These will continue to be dealt with in the usual way.

The relevant advice is contained in the Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency Device Bulletin MHRA DB 2003(05):Management of Medical Devices Prior to Repair, Service or Investigation (June 2003). All reusable medical devices and equipment to be inspected, serviced, repaired, returned to the lending organisation or disposed of should undergo decontamination. The devices and equipment should not expose the recipient to a biological, chemical or radio-active hazard.

Failure to comply with the legislative requirements could leave your hospital open to prosecution.


Permit Procedure

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Decontamination of equipment prior to service & repair. NHS Management Executive 1993 HSG (93)26. HMSO, London