UNCONTROLLED WHEN PRINTED

To handle, transport and dispose of sharps safely so as to prevent exposure to staff, patients and the public from any risk of transmission of pathogens.

Process

The safe handling and immediate disposal of sharps at the point of use is the responsibility of the person who has used the sharp.

Handling and Disposal of Sharps

  • Use Safety Engineered Medical Devices (SEMDs)/needle-less systems wherever available.
  • Read and understand the instructions for use prior to using sharp devices.
  • Wear gloves for all procedures involving sharps.
  • Minimise proximity of other persons before exposing a sharp.
  • Never pass an exposed needle to another person.
  • Never accept a used sharp from a patient/bystander or other health care provider
  • Never re-cap or re-sheath used needles by hand, remove from disposable syringes by hand,  or purposely bend, break or otherwise manipulate by hand.
  • Immediate dispose of sharps post use into a sharps container by the user.
  • SJA provides sharps collectors that are specific for use at the scene and within the ambulance.
  • Sharps containers are stored and transported securely within the vehicle until ready for disposal.
  • If sharps or needlestick injury occurs-see CPG 12.8 Management of Occupational Exposure. 

Disposal of Sharps Containers

  • Dispose of sharps containers when they are 3/4 full (As displayed on container)
  • Full sharps containers are disposed of at major hospitals in the designated clinical/sharps waste system.

References

Biohazard Waste Industry [BWI].  (2010).  Industry code of practice for the management of clinical and related wastes (6th ed.).  New South Wales, Australia:  Biohazard Waste Industry [BWI].  

Department of Health Government of Western Australia.  OD/IC 0260/09.  Clinical and related waste management:  General requirements.  Perth, Australia: Department of Health Government of Western Australia.

Department of Health Government of Western Australia.  OD 0259/09.  Clinical and related waste management:  Clinical wastes.  Perth, Australia:  Department of Health Government of Western Australia.

National Health & Medical Research Council and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare.  (2010).  Australian guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare.  Canberra, Australia:  Commonwealth of Australia.

Standards Australia.  AS 4031-1992 and Amendment 1 (1996).  Non-reusable containers for the collection of sharp medical items in health care areas.  Sydney, Australia:  Standards Australia International Limited. 

Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand. AS/NZS 3816:1998.  Management of clinical and related wastes.  Sydney, Australia:  Standards Australia International Limited. 

Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand. AS/NZS 4262:1994 and Amendment 1 (1997).  Reusable containers for the collection of sharp medical items used in human and animal medical applications.  Sydney, Australia:  Standards Australia International Limited. 

Western Australian Government Gazette. (2004). Environmental Protection (Controlled Waste) Regulations.  Perth, Australia:  Government Printer.

Key Terms & Links

Document Control


Directorate
Clinical Services

Responsible Manager
Head of Clinical Services

Date

Review Date

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