This Sharps Training focuses on the dangers associated with Sharps, the potential health risks and the handling and disposal of Sharps objects. It also looks at The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 and covers what PPE equipment is available.
“Sharps” waste is a form of hazardous waste which includes any objects that are used to puncture the skin. These materials must be handled with care and safety.
Annually, there are 16 billion injections administered both in and out of hospitals around the world. However, there are a large number of needles and syringes that are not correctly disposed of and these could cause harm to others.
The NHS (Southampton) Sharps Safety Policy defines it as needles, sharp-edged instruments, broken glassware, razors, scissors, bones and teeth. Hence, Sharps is not just exclusive to needles as many think. Anything attached to needles and blades is also considered as Sharps waste and therefore, needs to be disposed of properly.
There are dangers associated with Sharps materials as bloodborne diseases and infections can be passed through them. Some of the diseases connected with Sharps materials are Hepatitis B, C and HIV, but are not exclusive to these three. This risk is, logically, higher to those working within the healthcare industry, however, there are risks to people using needles and blades at home and work. The general public can be put at risk too from improper needle disposal from drug use.