Sharps Container Disposal: The 5 Best Practices to Follow. Disposing of sharps in an appropriate container is important for healthcare workers to reduce the risk of contamination, puncture injuries, and disease transmission. However, there are so many different types of containers on the market that it can be difficult to know which option is best for you. We’ve compiled a list of the five best practices when disposing sharps in containers below. Follow these steps to dispose of your medical waste safely and take care of yourself and your coworkers.
Five Best Practices – Disposing of Sharps
Disposing of sharps is a process that should be done with caution. The first step should always be determining if the container is labeled as a sharps container.
The FDA has a list of “cleared” containers that comply with safety rules for sharps. Containers must comply with the following requirements:
Be constructed of sturdy, rigid, puncture-resistant, non-breakable plastic.
Must be leak proof and impervious to moisture.
Have a lid that can be closed/sealed permanently.
Should be made in a red color or have a label with the universal biohazard symbol.
Safety is the key word when it comes to sharps. Containers should be located as close to the place of generation as possible. These are typically in the rooms where medical staff work with patients to deliver injections, testing, use scalpels, etc. Once the need for the sharp is completed, they should be immediately placed in the proper sharps container. To ensure safety, the medical staff should be able to access the containers easily without the requirement of walking a great distance or leaving the room. Some larger medical facilities with extensive treatment areas have opted to make use of a mobile cart that allows staff to take the containers from room to room.
When picking up other types of sharps like broken glass, you should use a pan and broom and never pick up the items by hand.
Only uncap needles when they are ready to be used. You can use a hemostat to loosen and remove the cap.
Always keeping your eye on the sharps while in use and making sure the needle is pointed away from the user can help prevent accidental needle sticks.
When in a hurry or rushing to do a procedure that involves sharps, that can lead to accidental needle sticks, take a moment, and slow yourself down before proceeding. Sharps injuries are among the most reported injuries and can have life and death consequences.
Never place sharps or broken glass in the regular trash as it can injure other workers, patients, and the people who pick up your waste.
Always keep sharps waste separate from other waste streams.
To ensure safety,
Remove and replace the sharps container when at the full mark trying to put too many sharps in a container can cause an accidental needle stick.
In a location away from people other than individuals.
Should never be stacked to a point where the containers will tip and fall.
In a location only accessible by those that are authorized.
If required, in a place that is temperature controlled so that there is not excessive heat or cold.
Inaccessible to pests and rodents.
Out of the elements, away from water and wind.
The necessity to have a licensed, trained, and professional medical waste disposal company has never been a higher priority. We are knowledgeable in all areas of state and federal law and each of our drivers and staff members are trained and employed by us. Healthcare Waste Management owns our own trucks and disposal plants. We work with small and large healthcare providers of all types working to ensure that your facility is safe, and we are accommodating to meet your facility’s needs. Contact us Today! 888-427-5797
Join thousands of other practices working with HWM.
"The only company you will ever need."