Sharps waste can be dangerous. Used items like syringes, lancets, needles, blades, auto injectors and infusion sets can cut and prick. They can also be contaminated with blood or body fluids that can transmit viruses that cause AIDS and hepatitis B. That’s why it’s so important to corral them in the right container (like one of these). Follow these tips to ensure you choose the one that’s best for you.
What to Look for in a Sharps Container
When choosing a sharps container make sure it:
- Is clearly identifiable and contains a hazard warning
- Is easy to use and stable during use
- Has guards that prevent fingers from entering openings to reduce risk of injuries
- Is made from rigid materials that will not allow sharps to penetrate
- Is made from corrosion-resistant materials
Another important factor in choosing a sharps container: the ability to seal its contents. Look for one that is built solidly and has no means of disassembly. And choose a model that keeps used sharps contained, even when dropped.
An overfilled sharps container can cause injuries, so be sure to pick one that has a means of displaying when it is full. Some are made of clear materials or have clear tops or lids, offering a convenient way to check the contents. Sharps containers must be completely sealed when full, which prevents leaking during transport and processing.
The Right Way to Use a Sharps Container
Besides having the appropriate sharps container, you and your coworkers must be familiar with its use, installation and maintenance.
Be careful not to install sharps containers improperly, such as in corners of rooms, behind doors, under sinks, beside tables or chairs, near switches or near emergency or fire exits.
Instead, install them in highly visible areas that are convenient for users. There shouldn’t be any furniture or obstacles between a sharps container and the site of use. Also, secure filled sharps containers to prevent tampering and theft.
To safely dispose of sharps waste, contact a professional waste collection agency. Arizona-based US Bio-Clean offers cost-effective sharps and medical waste disposal that is compliant with state and federal regulations.