The safe handling and disposal of needles and other sharp instruments forms part of the overall strategy of clinical waste disposal to protect staff, patients and visitors from exposure to bloodborne pathogens (Loveday et al 2013).
All healthcare workers must be aware of their responsibility in avoiding needlestick injuries. As with many infection prevention and control policies the assessment and management of the risks associated with the use of sharps is paramount and safe systems of work must be in place to minimise any identified risks.
Definition of a Sharp
The Health and Safety Executive define a sharp as a needle, blade or other medical instrument capable of cutting or piercing the skin.
|Compiled by:||The Infection Control Team|
|Ratified by:||Clinical Governance Committee|
|Date Ratified:||April 2018|
|Date Issued:||August 2019|
|Review Date:||April 2020|
|Target Audience:||All staff|
|Contact name:||Ann Birler, Nurse Consultant / Deputy Director of Infection Prevention and Control|
- Standard Precautions Policy
- Management of Needlestick, Sharps, Human Bites and Contamination Accidents Policy
- Management of Healthcare Waste Policy