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Guidelines for sharps disposal

Sharps, commonly referred to as needles, syringes, or any object that can prick or cut, present a significant public health and safety concern. The correct disposal procedures are crucial to follow to keep your premises safe. 

Guidelines for sharps disposal in Australia

In Australia, the safe management and disposal of sharps is governed by state and local legislation, guidelines, and policies. This regulation is aimed at preventing injury, infection, and disease transmission, especially Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

  1. Identification and handling: Sharps should never be picked up with bare hands. Ideally, a pair of tongs, needle pliers, or similar devices should be used. It's important to handle sharps with utmost care to avoid injury.

  2. Sharps containers: Sharps should be disposed of in specially designed and labelled sharps containers that are puncture-resistant, leak-proof, and durable. These containers should never be filled beyond the marked fill line.

  3. Disposal: Once filled, sharps containers should be securely closed and kept out of reach of children and pets. They should be disposed of at approved community sharps disposal points or through a registered waste service.

Common mistakes to avoid

Unfortunately, not everyone adheres to the correct sharps disposal procedures, leading to public health risks. Here are a few common mistakes:

  1. Inappropriate containers: Regular plastic or glass containers, such as milk bottles or jam jars, are not suitable for sharps disposal. They can easily break or get punctured, leading to possible injury or infection.

  2. Abandoning sharps in public spaces: Leaving sharps in public places such as parks, bathrooms, or car parks puts others at risk of accidental injury or infection.

  3. Flushing sharps down the toilet: This practice can cause significant harm to wastewater treatment workers and damage sewerage infrastructure. It also poses an environmental hazard.

Importance of proper sharps disposal

Safe and proper disposal of sharps is critical in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, protecting public health, and ensuring the safety of waste management workers. By adhering to the correct procedures, we can ensure a safer and healthier community for all.

Finding sharp disposal services near you

There are numerous sharp disposal services across Australia. Local council websites often provide information on the nearest sharps disposal points.

Remember, safe sharps disposal is not just a personal responsibility but a societal one. Adherence to proper disposal protocols ensures we maintain a healthy, safe environment for all.

Contact us today

Initial Hygiene is a leading medical waste and sharps disposal provider with service available nationwide.

Initial supplies and services a wide range of waste management systems across sharps, sanitary waste, clinical and medical. Get in touch today on 1300 187 162 or contact us here for free, no obligation assessment of your current clinical & medical waste processes.

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