Sharp wastes are entities that comprise broken glasses, lancets, needles, syringes, and other objects that are at high risk of skin piercing. This combination of contaminated pathogens and the hazards of breaking the skin are some of the reasons why these materials are considered dangerous. In particular, most hazardous sharp wastes came from hospitals and medicinal facilities because the objects could procure blood and body fluids for which might have accumulated viruses and infections.
As such, having proper ideas on who to manage such waste is important. Despite the voluptuous regulations regarding waste disposal, businesses, and establishments – even those unrelated to science and medicine – must be aware of the safety precautions and details associated with the disposal of sharps.
The common sharps waste
In managing sharps waste, individuals should be able to differentiate it with other entities. Generally, any discarded sharp objects are considered as sharps waste. Although this does not necessarily refer to the materials designed for skin puncture, sharps can also be any common market and household items.
To be specific, some examples of sharps waste are hypodermic needles, piercing needles, tattoo needles, disposable scalpels and blades, razor blades, broken glasses, sharp knives, a shard of bone, scissors, metal wire, clamps, retractors, staplers, and pins.
The importance of separating sharp wastes
As mentioned, sharps objects can cause injury to the individuals disposing and removing the wastes. It was recorded that over 1,833 incidents are inflicted on such wastes within the years 2012 to 2017. With this risk, these entities must be disposed of and stored separately to prevent punctures, scratches, and other related injuries.
Aside from the cutting of the skin, sharps waste can also be a carrier of infections and viruses especially when they have made contact with a person’s blood, saliva, or body fluids. Thus, regardless of whether they are household garbage or hospital waste, people should still practice caution and the proper handling of such materials; in spite, these practical considerations, the Health and Safety at Work Act has implemented it as a legal obligation – failure to comply with the rules will result to serious fines, closure of the business, and prosecution.
The safest way to dispose of sharps waste
Any disposed of materials can cause a lot of unfortunate circumstances especially when handled incorrectly. In managing sharps waste, the entities should be placed in correct disposal bin carefully, and immediately after they were used; the sharps should be collected in a bucket safely without touching the exterior of the conceptacle to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. People should also take note that, under no circumstances shall the needles and sharps be pressed firmly down in the container because it could injure the user.
If possible, the wastes must be sterilized beforehand to ensure the safety of waste haulers. Then, the bins for sharps waste should be completely emptied and washed for decontamination. Generally, sharps wastes are no different from medical wastes, however, these entities only produce a bigger risk because of the possibility of physical injuries.