Safety & Disposal

Safe use and disposal of sharps

Care must be exercised during the use and disposal of sharps. Good practice in the disposal of sharps includes the following key points:

  • All staff must dispose of sharps correctly.
  • The person using the sharp is responsible for disposing of it in an approved sharps disposal container. The facility is responsible for ensuring the disposal of the container.
  • The sharps container should be at the place where sharps are used so that they can be disposed of immediately after use.
  • Sharps containers should NEVER be overfilled.

  • Used needles should NEVER be recapped, cut or bent.
  • All incidents or accidents involving needlestick injuries and/or accidents involving body fluids should be recorded and reported in line with local policies.
Selecting, evaluating and using sharps disposal containers

Safety performance criteria for sharps disposal containers are divided into four areas:

Functional: Sharps disposal containers should be durable, leak resistant and puncture resistant.

Accessible: Sharps disposal containers must be accessible to workers who use, maintain, or dispose of sharps devices. This includes sufficient number, sufficient container volume, and safe access to the disposal opening on individual containers. Other important factors include convenient placement and (if necessary) portability of containers within the workplace.

Visible: Sharps disposal containers should be visible to the workers who must use them. Container fill status and warning labels are also important visibility criteria.

Accommodative: The sharps disposal container should accommodate the user, the facility, and the environment.

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