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Proper Disposal of Sharps: A Guide for Businesses in the UK

15th May 2023

When it comes to the safe disposal of sharps, businesses in the healthcare industry must adhere to strict guidelines. In this article, we will provide you with essential information on how to properly dispose of sharps in compliance with UK regulations. From identifying examples of sharps to understanding the correct disposal methods, read on to ensure the safe management of sharp waste in your facility.

Types of Sharps for disposal

Types of Sharps for disposal

Sharps encompass various objects used in healthcare settings.

Here are common examples of sharps that require careful disposal:

  • Hypodermic needles
  • Syringes
  • Lancets and blood glucose monitoring devices
  • Autoinjectors and epinephrine pens
  • Infusion sets and insulin pumps
  • Scalpels and surgical blades
  • IV catheters and cannulas
  • Glass items such as ampoules and vials

How to Dispose of Sharps

Proper disposal of sharps is vital to prevent injuries and the spread of infections.

Follow these guidelines for safe disposal:

  1. Use Sharps Bins:
  • Use specially designed sharps bins that meet UK standards for sharps disposal.
  • Place sharps directly into the bins immediately after use, without recapping or bending them.
  • Do not overfill the bins and ensure they are securely sealed.
  1. Arrange Sharps Bin Collection:
  • Contact a licensed waste management company to arrange regular sharps bin collection.
  • Ensure the company follows proper procedures for transporting and disposing of sharps waste.
  • Keep accurate records of the collection and disposal of sharps bins.
  1. Sharps Bin Location:
  • Place sharps bins in easily accessible areas of your facility, away from public access.
  • Ensure the bins are clearly labelled with the appropriate biohazard symbol.
  • Educate staff on the correct usage and disposal of sharps bins.
  1. Sharps Bin Disposal Regulations:
  • Sharps waste falls under the category of “hazardous waste” and must be handled accordingly.
  • Familiarise yourself with the specific regulations in your region regarding the transportation and disposal of sharps waste.
  • Only use waste management companies authorised to handle hazardous waste.

Proper disposal of sharps is crucial for the safety of both staff and the environment in healthcare facilities. By correctly identifying sharps and following the appropriate disposal methods outlined above, businesses can ensure compliance with UK regulations and maintain a safe working environment. Remember, engaging a licensed waste management company for sharps bin collection and disposal is essential to meet legal requirements and protect public health.

For more detailed information consult with a waste management professional specialising in hazardous waste disposal for businesses in the healthcare industry 0333 015 3522

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