initial medical sharps bins disposal

Sharps Disposal

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Sharps Disposal Service

Safe disposal of sharps is critical to prevent accidental sharp injuries in the workplace and the community. Under The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 section 5, use and disposal of medical sharps; the employer is responsible for identifying risks in handling of sharps as well as providing secure containers and instructions on safe sharps disposal. At Initial Medical we offer a range of sharps disposal solutions to help you prevent accidental sharp injuries including safer sharps cabinets, point of use disposal equipment, and our specialist sharps bin collection service.


What is Sharps Disposal?

Sharps disposal is the safe disposal of sharp waste such as medical needles, blades and other sharp objects to prevent injury and the spread of infection. Safe sharps disposal involves using puncture-resistant containers and following clinical waste regulations such as The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 and HTM 07-01 Safe and Sustainable Management of Healthcare Waste which includes advice on the follow the colour code guide.

What is Classed as Sharps Waste?

Sharps waste is anything that can puncture or cut the skin and can include:

  • Needles and syringes
  • Surgical blades and scalpels
  • Lancets and lancet devices such as finger stick blood samplers
  • Razor blades
  • Broken glass

Why is Safe Sharps Disposal Important?

1. Prevents Injuries

Regularly handling sharps makes you more prone to accidental sharps injuries, such as a needle puncturing the skin. Accidental needlestick injuries can transmit blood-borne viruses, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, to staff, waste handlers, and the general public. Proper disposal reduces the risk of these injuries. If you are worried about a needlestick injury, see advice from the NHS here.

2. Protects the Environment

Sharps if infected are classified as hazardous materials that can harm the environment if they end up in landfills, waterways, or other natural habitats. Some sharps, like those used to administer injections, may contain small amounts of medication that can contaminate soil and water sources. Proper waste management ensures that these materials are managed in an environmentally responsible manner.

3. Comply with Regulations

The Controlled Waste Regulations 2012 identifies sharps waste as controlled waste and therefore requires proper disposal under The Environmental Protection Act 1990. Under The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013, the employer is responsible for identifying any handling risks and providing secure containers and instructions on safe sharps disposal.

4. Promotes Public Safety

Safe sharps disposal protects not only healthcare professionals but also the general public. Needles and other sharps are sometimes discarded improperly in public spaces, posing a risk to unsuspecting individuals.

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How to Dispose of Sharps, 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 other sharps are being used or can be found
  • Prevent the recapping of needles and use sharps trays and trolleys when transporting sharps
  • Wear personal protection equipment (PPE)
  • Provide information and raise awareness on the risks, good practice, incident records, and general support available in your practice
  • Educate and train staff on safe sharp handling

Colour Coding Guide for Sharp Waste

Disposing of Sharps Safely

Safe sharps disposal is crucial to protect your employees, community, and the environment. Improperly disposed of sharps like needles and syringes can lead to serious injuries, infections, and even environmental contamination.

By following regulations and using specialised sharps bins, you can significantly minimise the risk of sharps injuries in your workplace.
Initial Medical offers a comprehensive range of sharps disposal solutions, including:

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Benefits of our Sharps Disposal Service

  • Safety - Our eco-friendly containers are puncture-resistant, leak-proof, and tamper-evident, reducing the risk of injuries and contamination.

  • Convenience - Regularly scheduled sharps collections tailored to your sharps needs, make it easy for you to dispose of sharps safely and comply with regulations.

  • Environmental Responsibility - Our Eco Sharps bins are manufactured in the UK from at least 40% recycled plastic to reduce the use of single use plastic.

  • Expertise - Our Initial Medical Consultants work with you to understand your needs and help you comply with waste regulations. We also offer CPD accredited training and have free colour code posters to help educate your staff on handling clinical waste properly.

  • Container Options - Our Eco Sharps bins come in a variety of sizes and are  colour coded in accordance with the NHS guidelines so can be tailored to your sharp waste collection needs.