The Ohio EPA defines sharps to include lancets, hypodermic needles, syringes, scalpel blades, and broken glass contaminated with an infectious agent.
Needles and Syringes
Needles and syringes are at the top of the “sharps” list. Some syringes are manufactured with a needle (retractable or fixed). Many syringes have needles that can be removed or replaced. It is for these reasons that one must differentiate between the two (reference to a syringe does not equate the item has a needle). Training on the safe and proper use of a needle and syringe will reduce the chances of needle sticks. Once the needle on a syringe is uncapped, do not replace the cap even if the item was not used.
Needlesticks are caused when a needle punctures the protective skin layer leading to an exposure/contamination. One who undergoes a needlestick shall contact their immediate supervisor, advisor, EOHS, or the UAPD. An accident report of the incident shall be completed and a copy sent to EOHS. Once the needlestick incident is reported and the needle is secured (UAPD or EOHS) report to Health Services (SRWC) for counseling. EOHS will report all possible contaminants to Health Services, private physician or hospital so that the attending physician will be able to evaluate the most effective treatment. Confidentiality between patient and doctor is maintained.
All sharps shall be placed inside qualified “sharps” containers. These containers are constructed of rigid, puncture resistant plastic (red), leak proof and have an opening that will not allow for the removal of inserted items. The Ohio EPA does not have a required number of days that one can posses a “full” sharps container. Please contact EOHS to pick-up sharps container that are “full” (three quarters).
In the event one discovers a sharp in a common area or disposed of incorrectly, please contact EOHS. This will prevent the possibility of an accidental needlestick and educate the responsible party to resolve future incidents.