Contaminated Needles and Other Sharps
Needle sticks are the most common way for infection with BBPs to occur on the job, which is why it is so critical to use good work practices to avoid being injured and injuring others.
Use special caution when handling all sharps, including needles and syringes, scalpels, pipettes, and any glass implements. Sharps should only be used when there are no alternatives. Use plasticware in place of glass whenever possible.
Become familiar with the workplace safety devices utilized in your area such as retractable needles and scalpels. If you are not familiar with these devices, or have questions, please contact your supervisor.
To prevent injury with needles and other sharps:
- Never bend, clip, break, or recap needles
- Avoid leaving needles unattended or carrying them around before disposal
- Pick up broken glassware using mechanical means, such as forceps, tongs or dustpan and broom
- Dispose of needles and other sharps in designated sharps containers
Be familiar with the sharps containers provided for your use and always dispose of used sharps in these containers.
Containers must be:
- puncture resistant
- leakproof on sides and bottom
- labeled with biohazard symbol or color-coded (usually red)
- not overfilled
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