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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Do you know how to properly dispose of contaminated needles?

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

contamination, needles, biohazard

Are you aware of the proper disposal of contaminated needles and blood tube holders?

From the OSHA website

Appropriate Disposal of Contaminated Sharps:

  • Employers must make available, closable, puncture resistant, leakproof sharps containers that are appropriately labeled and color-coded. The containers must also have an opening that is large enough to accommodate disposal of the entire blood collection assembly (i.e. blood tube holder and needle).
  • Employees must have access to sharps containers that are easily accessible to the immediate area where sharps are used (29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(4)(iii)(A)(2)(i)).
  • If employees travel from one location to another (e.g. from one patient room to another or from one facility to another), the employee must be provided with a sharps container which is conveniently placed or portable at each location/facility, and is capable of accommodating the entire blood tube holder and needle assembly.

Note: Many sharps containers are designed with openings that do not allow for disposal of a SESIP that is attached to the blood tube holder. These containers would not be in compliance with the bloodborne pathogens standard. Employers must ensure that where blood is being drawn, the sharps container is appropriate for immediate disposal of sharps.

Evaluation Toolbox
    • Employers must first evaluate, select, and use appropriate engineering controls (e.g., sharps with engineered sharps injury protection), which includes single-use blood tube holders with sharps with engineered sharps injury protection (SESIP) attached.
    • The use of engineering and work practice controls provide the highest degree of control in order to eliminate potential injuries after performing blood draws. Disposing of blood tube holders with contaminated needles attached after the activation of the safety feature affords the greatest hazard control.
    • In very rare situations needle removal is acceptable.
      • If the employer can demonstrate that no feasible alternative to needle removal is available (e.g. inability to purchase single-use blood tube holders due to a supply shortage of these devices),
      • If the removal is necessary for a specific medical or dental procedure.

In these rare cases, the employer must ensure that the contaminated needle is protected by a SESIP prior to disposal. In addition, the employer must ensure that a proper sharps disposal container is located in the immediate area of sharps use and is easily accessible to employees. This information must be clearly detailed and documented in the employer's Exposure Control Plan.

  • If it is necessary to draw blood with a syringe, a syringe with engineered sharps injury protection must be used in which the protected needle is removed using safe work practices, and transfer of blood from the syringe to the tube must be done using a needleless blood transfer device.

For complete details visit: https://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib101503.html 

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