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Take the Pinch out of Needlesticks

a group of syringes

Workers cleaning restrooms, medical facilities, and even homes risk being being stuck by a used needle or other sharps, such as syringes, scalpels, or scissors. The proper way to dispose of these items is to deposit them in a red or yellow sharps container specially designed for hazardous waste. However, sharps sometimes end up in trash cans, on restroom surfaces, or on the floor. 

Coming in contact with a used sharp puts workers at risk of contracting a disease caused by bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Don't risk an infection. If you or one of your workers is stuck by a sharp, or get blood or other potentially infectious materials in the eyes, nose, or mouth, stop working immediately and follow these tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Wash needlesticks and cuts with soap and water
  • Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water
  • Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or sterile irrigants
  • Report the incident to a supervisor
  • Immediately seek medical treatment.

Click here for more information on dealing with hazardous waste injury prevention and other employee safety issues.


 

 

Kathleen Misovic

Kathleen Misovic

Associate Editor for CMM

Kathleen Misovic is associate editor for CMM. She can be reached at kathleen@issa.com.

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