initial medical sharps bins disposal

Sharps Disposal

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Sharps Disposal Service

The safe management and disposal of sharps waste is vital to eliminate the risk of sharps injuries and ensure compliance with hazardous waste regulations. Initial Medical provides a comprehensive range of sharps containers, cabinets and safety mechanisms, as well as our specialist sharps bin collection and disposal service.

Working with you, we can help identify the type and frequency of sharps waste that requires disposal, enabling us to tailor a solution to suit your individual requirements. Learn more about our sharps disposal services below and contact our team today to receive your free onsite survey.

We also provide best practice guidance on how to prevent a needlestick injury, as well as the risk of infection involved for healthcare workers in the use and disposal of needles and syringes. Read our full guidance below.

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What is sharps waste?

Sharps waste is a term that covers these used items ready for disposal:

  • Hypodermic needles and syringes
  • Scalpels, razors and razor blades
  • Phials and test tubes
  • Pipettes
  • Glass (broken or intact)

Best practice to prevent sharps injuries

The Health & Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 focus on: the safe use and disposal of sharps; the information and training provided; and the procedures and reporting around sharps injuries.

Guidance for legislative compliance in sharps use:

  • Eliminate the unnecessary use of sharps by implementing changes in practices and providing safer sharps, incorporating engineered protection mechanisms
  • Provide a sharps bin or sharps container as close as possible to those areas where needles, syringes and others sharps are being used or can be found
  • Prevent the recapping of needles
  • Wear personal protection equipment (PPE)
  • Provide information and raise awareness on the risks, good practice, incident records and general support available in your practice
  • Train staff on how to follow safe sharps and disposal procedures

The risk associated with needlestick injuries

The risk of needlestick injuries is highest amongst workers in health and social care environments who directly handle needles, syringes and scalpels. However, the risk also potentially applies to staff, patients and the wider community who may inadvertently be put at risk when sharps disposal procedure is not followed. For example, a sharps container being misused could lead to an unnecessary incident.

The primary risk from a sharps injury is the potential for a blood-borne virus (BBV) to contaminate the injured person. These infections can occur where the injury involves a sharp that is contaminated with blood or bodily fluids from a patient. Here are the blood borne viruses of most concern:

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an infectious illness caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) which infects the liver and causes inflammation. Hepatitis B is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world and is spread through body fluids.

Symptoms can include: flu-like symptoms; loss of appetite; weight loss; nausea or vomiting; diarrhoea; stomach pains; and jaundice. It can exist as either an acute or chronic infection, with two types of treatment available for chronic hepatitis B: interferon injection or antiviral drugs.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus. It can cause inflammation and fibrosis of the liver tissue and occasionally significant liver damage. Many people do not realise that they have been infected with the virus as there are usually no symptoms.

Hepatitis C can clear fairly quickly for some, but approximately 75% of those infected will remain so for over six months, known as chronic hepatitis C. This will then require treatment by either an interferon injection or antiviral drug.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a lentivirus that causes AIDS, a condition in humans where a weakened immune system allows life-threatening infections and cancers to swarm the body. Through the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk, HIV is able to be passed along to another person. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells.

Symptoms of HIV are often mild and can easily be mistaken for a cold or glandular fever, but generally include a blotchy rash, fever, joint pain, muscle pain, sore throat, swollen glands and tiredness. There is no cure or vaccine for HIV. However, combination therapy slows the progression of the virus and can prolong life.

1. Contact

Contact us and a member of our expert Initial Medical team will be in touch.

  • Trusted, local consultants
  • Enquiries are returned within 24 hours

2. Survey

We will visit your practice and carry out a comprehensive review of your waste management structure.

  • A free survey from a specialist Initial Medical consultant
  • A bespoke service schedule based on your needs
  • Full guidance on your waste legislation requirements

3. Installation

Our expert technicians will carry out a thorough installation service or provide the required containers if no installation is required.

  • An appointment scheduled at a time to suit you
  • Specialist guidance on how to use and manage your new containers
  • Minimal disruption to your healthcare practice

4. Service

Your local expert technician will service your waste based on your bespoke service agreement.

  • Hands-on support from your local Initial Medical consultant
  • Servicing tailored to suit your business's schedule
  • 24/7 access to service documents through myInitial
Contact us today