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How to Manage Sharps Waste in Your Home, or Office

September 23, 2021

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How to Manage Sharps Waste in Your Home, or Office

How to Manage Sharps Waste in Your Home, or Office. Sharp objects can be found in homes, offices, and hospitals. They are used for a variety of purposes from administering IVs to drawing blood. To protect both patients and healthcare providers, it is important to dispose of sharps waste carefully to avoid the spread of bloodborne pathogens. Here, are some ways to properly manage sharps waste in your home, office, or hospital.

Properly Manage Sharps Waste in Your Home

In the home sharps are mainly used to dispense medicine like insulin for diabetics and other medical injections. Finding ways to safely dispose of sharps in the home is an important public health concern. Children and pets are at risk in-home for being stuck by improperly discarded used sharps.

An FDA cleared sharps container can be purchased at most pharmacies, in the event you cannot purchase a sharps container a home user could use household containers, such as plastic detergent bottles, can be used if heavy duct tape is used to secure the lid to the container and the words “Do Not recycle” are written on the container with a permanent marker. Never place the container in the recycle bin.

Some sharps users throw their used needles in the trash or flush them down the toilet. Used sharps left loose among other waste can hurt sanitation workers during collections, at sorting and recycling facilities, and at landfills, or become lodged in equipment, forcing workers to remove them by hand. Children, adults, and even pets are at risk for needlestick injuries when sharps are disposed of improperly at home or in public settings like parks.

Sharps containers should never be filled more than two-thirds full, when two-thirds full seal the container and disposal of it in one of the following ways.

Drop off collection sites, such as local doctors’ offices, hospitals, health clinics, pharmacies, health departments, community organizations, police and fire stations are possible collection sites that will take your home sharps containers.

Properly Manage Sharps Waste in Your Office

Employees with a variety of illnesses may need to inject medicine when working. One often overlooked workplace health and safety concern is what those employees should do with these medical waste materials while at work. It is not safe to re-cap them or for the employee to collect them and try and take them home later.

A used medical device such as a sharp should be disposed of immediately after use in the proper FDA cleared sharps container.

Proper communication between employers and employees regarding sharps disposal should be an on-boarding policy. The employer should provide clear communication to new employees about the sharps policy.

Depending on local, state, and federal guidelines it may not be a requirement of your employer to provide sharps containers. However, a responsible employer will make provisions to protect staff and sanitation workers.

There are many options to meet sharps waste disposal needs in the office. One way is to place sharps disposal containers in the restroom, if you are in a professional office building you may need to contact building management to inquire about installing sharps containers in the restrooms.

Another way is to dedicate a private space in the office for those who need injections and have a sharps waste container in there.

For an office setting a commercial FDA cleared sharps container with a roll-top lid is the best way to go, especially if more than one person will be using the same container.

When the sharps containers are two-thirds full they should be replaced. Depending on the frequency of containers being filled, it may be beneficial to hire a medical waste management company to properly dispose of your sharps containers. If you should have any questions regarding sharps container disposal, Contact Healthcare Waste Management Today at 888-427-5797.

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