“Sharps” waste is a form of hazardous waste which includes any objects that are used to puncture the skin. These materials must be handled with care and safety.
Sharps are defined as needles, sharp-edged instruments, broken glassware, razors, scissors, bones and teeth. Hence, Sharps is not just exclusive to needles as many may think. Anything attached to needles and blades is also considered as Sharps waste and therefore, needs to be disposed of properly.
There are dangers associated with Sharps materials as bloodborne diseases and infections can be passed through them. Some of the diseases connected with Sharps materials are Hepatitis B, C and HIV, but are not exclusive to these three. This risk is, logically, higher to those working within the healthcare industry, however, there are risks to people using needles and blades at home and work. The general public can be put at risk too from improper needle disposal from drug use.
Sharps: Course Contents
1. What are Sharps?
“Sharps” is a medical term used for any item with sharp edges or points capable of puncturing or cutting skin. Sharps are mostly associated with medical settings like hospitals, but many people will use Sharps at home, at work, or whilst travelling to help deal with certain medical conditions – diabetes, for example.
In this section, we’ll look at some of the risks posed by Sharps and, most importantly, what you can do to help minimise them.
2. Preventing the spread of infections
Preventing the spread of infections
The best way to deal with Sharps Injuries is to try and prevent them altogether. This means employers and employees working together to create and maintain a set of working practices and procedures which have safety at their core.
In this section, we’ll see how your employer’s risk assessment should inform how you work, as well as looking at some best practice techniques when working with Sharps.
Duration: 20 Minutes
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