All Points Medical Waste Blog
Sharps: Managing disposal safely
Top rules to follow to reduce risk
As a medical professional you are well aware of the risks associated with sharps, needles and other materials used in your practice. Reducing the potential for exposure via an accidental prick, cuts or other forms of contact is key to protecting your staff, your patients, the environment and the community. Here are some important do’s and don’ts to follow:
- Always place sharps and needles in the proper waste container immediately after use
- Use a waste container that is FDA approved. Your medical waste provider will provide this for you and place throughout your facility where needed. If you aren’t using a certified medical waste provider, it’s recommended that you do to prevent injuries and to help your facility remain OSHA compliant.
- Keep sharps containers closed and secured at all times and attached to the walls, rather than sitting on countertops where they could be knocked over or comprised
- Follow OSHA and your local and state regulations when it comes to disposal guidelines
- Make sure all staff members wear gloves when handling sharps and only remove them after properly disposing of them
- Do not throw loose needles, used sharps or uncapped syringes into the regular trash
- Never dispose of sharps or syringes by attempting to flush down the toilet—not only could they become trapped inside your pipes, but they could also end up in the sewage system, impacting the environment and wildlife
- Do not place sharps or needles inside a recycling bin. These items are not recyclable and could cause injury or illness to those who accidentally come in contact with them
- Don’t attempt to break, bend or recap a sharp that’s already been used
Sharps are items that can cause injury or serious illness if handled improperly. It’s not uncommon for medical workers to improperly dispose of them without realizing the risk, increasing the potential for accidental sticks and pricks. Make sure your staff is thoroughly trained on the right steps to take when handling sharps, syringes and needles as well as the do’s and don’ts of safe disposal.
For more information on medical waste disposal, visit our blog. And to find out about our array of services for your organization, fill out our online quote request form or give us a call at 772.600.4885.