Sharps are defined in the “National Guidelines for the Management of Clinical and related Wastes” (published by the National Health and Medical Research Council) as: “Objects or devices having acute rigid corners, edges points or protuberances capable of cutting or penetrating the skin”. Hypodermic needles, Pasteur pipettes, scalpel blades, lancets and broken glass all fit this definition.
All sharps have the potential to cause injury through cuts or puncture wounds. In addition, Sharps can cause accidental injections and cuts when improperly handled. In addition, many sharps are contaminated with blood or body fluids, microbiological materials, toxic chemicals or radioactive substances, posing a risk of infection or illness if they penetrate the skin. Blood contaminated sharps can spread viruses such as those causing Hepatitis B, C and HIV; that is why sharps disposal service is important.
If you work in a healthcare setting, you should know that biohazards present a massive safety hazard to both patients and employees. Putting guidelines into place for proper medical waste sharps disposal service can help keep your workplace cleaner and safer.
Here are the 5 preventive measures suggested by the sharps disposal service to handle sharp wastes;
Do not begin a procedure or an injection unless you know that a sharps container is immediately available. For example, if you are going to another medical facility or a patient’s home, do not assume that proper sharps containers will be readily available. Instead, bring your own in a safe and secured manner.
Only Use Approved Sharp Containers
Only use leak-proof, sealable, puncture-resistant, and labelled containers to hold sharps. Additionally, you must always make sure that your sharps container is OSHA-approved. Finally, never use a regular trash can to dispose of sharps, as this can put sanitation workers and other employees at risk of needle injuries.
Understand What To Do If An Accident Occurs
If you experience an accidental needlestick, know what to do in the immediate aftermath. First, wash the contact site with warm water and soap, sterilize and dress the area, and seek medical attention right away if the needle was in contact with any bodily fluids whatsoever.
Immediately Report All Injuries To Employers
Acting quickly can allow staff to avoid further injury after an accident and help employers evaluate their sharps disposal process to ensure they are doing enough to prevent employees from being hurt.
Seek Professional Biohazard Disposal
Never rely on standard waste management systems to remove and dispose of biohazardous material. Instead, choice sharps disposal service provides biohazard waste disposal, OSHA compliant and denatures the dangerous material to prevent injury to healthcare and sanitation workers.
When full, sharps containers holding contaminated sharps must not be placed into the general rubbish stream. It is recommended to collect full sharps containers and other hazardous waste through an accredited waste disposal company. Contaminated waste is to be identified by the colour yellow and the internationally recognised black multi-circle symbol. All containers and plastics bags are to be yellow and marked with the international biohazard symbol. The words “Contaminated Waste” symbol and words are to be easily readable says sharps disposal service.
Above mentioned preventive measures would help you understand the sharps and how they should be disposed of as they are maybe harmful to everyone who comes in contact with it.