‘Sharps’ is a general term applied to hypodermic needles, razor blades or other similar items that could easily penetrate the skin

For your own safety, you must not try to deal with ‘sharps’ unless you have been properly trained to do so. Remember:

  • Dangerously discarded used needles and syringes may be hidden in crevices and on ledges. Never stick your hand into these types of places. Check with a tool for the presence of ‘sharps’.
  • Don’t put your hands into, or press down on rubbish bags and similar containers, as they may contain discarded ‘sharps’.
  • Sharps diposal tubTreat all discarded needles and similar items as being potentially infected.

If you discover a used hypodermic needle, syringe, or other used medical utensil – DO NOT TOUCH IT - keep everyone away and sweep it into a dustpan. If available, empty the dustpan into a ‘sharps’ disposal box (or a safe sealable container).

If the ‘sharp’ is in a difficult location and it has to be picked up, then use large plastic tweezers, or something similar, and wear rubber gloves. Needles should only be picked up by the barrel. NEVER pick up a needle by the point because it may penetrate both gloves and skin.

ALWAYS take the Sharps Box to the site of the discarded needle – NEVER attempt to carry the ‘sharp’ to the box. When the ‘sharp’ is in the ‘Sharps Box’ put the tweezers in as well. Never dispose of a ‘sharp’ in a way that puts others at risk. Wash the gloves in hot soapy water before reusing them.

‘Sharps’ may be carrying infectious diseases – if you pierce your skin with one, let it bleed and obtain immediate medical advice. You must record the incident in the Accident Book.

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