Use of Sharps

The improper handling of “sharps” materials creates a significant risk for the primary individual working with them, as well as secondary individuals that may be cleaning or handling the lab’s waste.  A significant number of injuries from “sharps” occur in research labs each year, many of which go unreported, and a high percentage of these injuries are avoidable.  Anyone who uses a sharp is personally responsible for its correct use and for its safe disposal.

All sharps objects, such as, but not limited to the following, must be disposed in an approved “sharps container” in order to prevent potential exposure to maintenance and building services staff.  NOTE: EHS Hazard Materials Management (HMM) provides dedicated sharps collection systems for uncapped syringe/needle assemblies.

  • Scalpel blades
  • Hypodermic needles
  • Pasteur pipettes
  • Contaminated broken glass
  • Intravenous tubing with needle attached
  • Capillary tubes

Standard Operating Procedures, Guidelines, and Manuals

The following documents may be required for your research operation, depending on what type of research you are performing, the potential hazards you and your staff will be exposed to, and the engineering controls you are implementing.

NOTE: Non-contaminated broken glass should be placed in large cardboard containers for transport to and disposal in the trash dumpsters.  Refer to the procedure Disposing of Uncontaminated Waste that May Puncture the Skin.

Health Concerns


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