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Safe sharps disposal – how?

In recent years syringes have become their own epidemic. We find them everywhere – public bathrooms, public stairwells, even neighbourhood parks. People are being needlessly infected with diseases from used syringes that have been thoughtlessly discarded. While many local government offices are struggling to come up with the funds to fight this epidemic, what about the businesses, healthcare departments, etc, dealing with the countless patients, tests, and treatments resulting in thousands of used syringes every day? And with the COVID pandemic causing such an increase in vaccinations, how are businesses dealing with all the extra syringes?

There are two important steps for a company to consider when thinking about sharps disposal: placing the syringes in the correct waste containers and using the correct waste collector.

Below are some good tips to help make things easier for your employees:

  1. Make sure you have clear instructions displayed on how to safely dispose of syringes.
  2. Ensure that all members of staff are aware of where these instructions are and that all new members of staff read them thoroughly.
  3. The sharps disposal waste containers need to be easily accessible.
  4. Provide clear instructions on when to contact a waste collection company.
  5. The waste containers must never be overfilled. If a waste container is overfilled, the risk of receiving a needlestick injury greatly increases.
  6. It seems pretty obvious, but make sure all waste containers are out of reach of children and stored safely.

Using a good waste collector is also important. Until the syringes are destroyed, your company are still responsible for them.  So, if a waste collector doesn’t dispose of the syringes properly, you could still be held responsible.  You need a waste collection company that has a proven track record and great reputation for professional service.

As mentioned earlier, the COVID pandemic has put a lot of extra pressures on suppliers to provide these containers for businesses, hospitals, senior living communities, nursing and rehabilitation facilities etc. This is another reason why a good waste collection company is so important. You will want reliability, no needless worrying about supply issues.

Of course, this is all focused on companies dealing with large quantities of syringes. However, syringes need to be disposed of carefully and correctly even in personal use, for example, by an insulin user.  It is a public health issue so making sure they are disposed of correctly we can do our part to protect those around us.

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