Sharps are objects whose edges are pointed and have the ability to puncture the skin on contact. Their presence in the environment constitutes a hazard that is cumbersome to address at institutional and individual levels.
There are some proven ways to dispose of sharps without compromising the safety of the environment. Sharps present a problem while eliminating because some, like crushed glass, may be difficult to handle safely. The following are some proven sharps collection methods that do not elevate risk levels associated with the handling of such materials.
Garbage must be sorted during sharps collection to ensure that the sharp objects are excluded from other items. It would, however, be more effective to isolate several containers and designate them exclusively for sharps collection.
During demolitions, accidentals, fires or terror attacks, glass from structures and vehicles may scatter around the area. The area with scattered glass presents a hazard for anyone in its proximity. A viable containment measure would be to isolate the area until the shuttered glasses are collected. Only people with unique personal protective clothing should have access to the restricted areas.
Personal Protective Equipment
In other cleaning and garbage management activities, the workers need to have protective gear. Hospital sharps collection activities involve the collection of used needles and surgical tools which cannot be reused. Such materials need to be handled with care because they have toxins from their initial use. Most sharp objects made of steel tend to rust, and the rust is a danger to human health hence the need for personal protective equipment.
Containers for sharps collection must have the structural integrity to accommodate the unpredictable pressure from bombarded sharp objects. Any chosen material for the containers must guarantee that the collection and disposal of sharps does not end up being a way of distributing the hazard.
The dangers on most sharps need immediate dissolution or inactivation before they are disposed. Absorbent fluids are among the best solutions available in Australia, and they can be purchased in any chemical outlet. Containers must remain closed at all times and secured during transportation to avoid spillage.
Hazardous materials require labelling according to global and Australian conventions. Sharps collection must incorporate appropriate labelling measures to enhance safety levels during handling and disposing of sharps.
Sharps can be cumbersome to handle if appropriate procedures are ignored. One must adhere to all standards regarding separation, decontamination, labeling, containment, container design and personal protective equipment.