Safe sharps disposal is essential when dealing with clinical waste, but it requires strict training, personal protective equipment, and an appropriate disposal system.
Sharps disposal must follow stringent government guidelines, as sharps are potentially dangerous and hazardous to health. If your business requires sharps disposal, then it’s often best to seek out the expertise of a trained and licensed commercial cleaning service that can provide safe and efficient disposal on a regular basis or at short notice.
In this article, we explain the safest ways to dispose of sharps, and why this is a job best left to the experts. Keep reading to find out more about sharps disposal.
Sharps are classified as any medical or surgical tool that is pointed or sharp. Sharps are used for a variety of reasons in the healthcare industry, particularly for injections, drawing blood or during surgery.
Examples of sharps include:
There are many more medical tools that can be classed as sharps too, and they can be used by businesses or public services administering healthcare, or by individuals suffering from illnesses at home (diabetes, for example).
To understand why sharps disposal is so important, you need to be aware of the potential hazards that sharps pose to health, either in the workplace or in private homes.
Government regulations classify medical sharps as clinical waste that has the potential to be dangerous and hazardous to human health. The obvious danger posed by sharps is the simple fact that they are, by definition, sharp.
More than this, sharps can be infected with dangerous pathogens that are present in and transmitted through human blood. Of particular concern are viruses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis and HIV. These can all be present in used sharps, as the virus can survive for long periods of time outside the human body.
If sharps are mishandled and they cause an injury, then the injured person can also be infected with a potentially fatal virus. For this reason, you can’t simply throw sharps in the bin to dispose of them. They must be disposed of in a way that adheres to government health and safety regulations.
Government health and safety guidelines must be followed to dispose of sharps. Sharps are classed as hazardous, and so fall under the remit of COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations in the workplace.
At work, sharps need to be handled by trained staff wearing appropriate PPE. Used sharps have to be placed into a dedicated sharps disposal box. Never place them in the recycling or in any rubbish bins to be thrown out or collected with standard waste.
At home, sharps users need to have dedicated sharps disposal boxes, and they must ensure that these boxes are not placed out to be collected with their household waste.
Clinical waste has to be disposed of separately to other waste, as it has the potential to cause serious harm. It must be disposed of by a licensed professional at designated disposal areas (not all landfill sites can take clinical waste).
It’s advisable to use a professional sharps disposal service if you’re in any doubt as to how sharps need to be disposed of. Wrong disposal is not only illegal, but can potentially cause injuries or even fatalities.
A professional service takes away any worry on your part, and ensures that you can devote resources elsewhere, rather than spending time carrying out disposal yourself. A professional service is licensed to complete sharps disposal, and can carry out the task safely. They can be called in at short notice to dispose of large quantities of sharps or to dispose of sharps during an emergency.
Safe sharps disposal requires expertise and access to health and safety equipment. Our staff are well trained and able to offer an efficient service that minimises risk and follows government guidelines stringently.
Direct Cleaning Group provides professional sharps disposal services across the North West. Our team provides an expert service that can be arranged for a regular basis, or scheduled to deal with emergency disposal requirements at short notice.