How Do You Dispose of Sharps and Needles? 12 Tips to Sharpen your Skills

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Posted by Eva Owens

Disposing of sharps is no joke. It’s easy to do it wrong, so let’s talk about doing it right. Whether you're a provider or a client, it’s good to review the rules for proper sharps disposal. Life is hard enough as it is... Why make it harder by not being safe about sharps, right?

Do’s

-Use  the FDA-cleared, sharps disposal containers that are available through pharmacies, medical supply companies, health care providers, and online. Need an alternative? Read this FDA article on alternatives here

-Treat all sharps as if they're infectious. The risks are too high. 

-Put only sharps in the sharps container.

-Wash your hands and use disposable gloves during the entire disposal process.

-Remove and properly dispose of gloves before washing your hands.

Follow this 3 step process:
1. Remove the lid of the sharps container.
2. Instruct the consumer to drop the sharps, needle first, into the container. If the consumer is unable to do this, then use a tool such as tongs instead of handling sharps directly.
3. Replace the lid securely. If needed, put tape on the lid to secure it.

 


Don’ts

-Don’t bend or break a needle.

-Don’t put a cap on a used needle.

-Never take a used needle out of a syringe.

-Never use a needle more than once.

-Don’t forget to dispose of the sharps container when it is ¾ full using your community’s disposal process. 

-Don’t forget to seal the container with tape and take to an approved sharps disposal location.

-Remember sharps and needles can injure people, as well as spread germs and disease.

 

For more information on the official training guidelines of sharps handling click here.  

Need a list of approved sharps disposal locations in Washington state? Try here.  

Need more information from SEIU Benefit Group on Sharps Handling? Click here


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