Sharps Safety Tips

Sharps are medical devices that can cut or puncture the skin, which include needles, razor blades, exposed ends of dental wires, capillary tubes, etc. These sharp safety tips will help prevent accidental punctures and cuts.

Before working with sharps:

  • Consider safer medical devices (blunt tip needles, retractable scalpels and blades, etc.). The CDC estimates that 62% to 88% of sharps injuries can be prevented by using safer medical devices. Visit and search for “Needlestick/sharps injuries” for more information.

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In your workspace, ensure that:

  • The sharps container is less than ¾ full.
  • The sharps container is immediately accessible for sharps disposal.
  • There is enough space and adequate lighting to do your work.
  • You have all the necessary equipment/supplies before starting.
  • The sharp is covered or wrapped until time of use.
  • You are alert at all times when handling sharps.
  • Disposable sharps are immediately disposed before proceeding to another task.

As always:

  • Wear designated PPE such as double gloves or cut-resistant gloves.
  • Do not recap needles (except in rare circumstances).
  • If needles must be recapped, refer to our recommended one-handed technique. Visit and search for “Sharps Guidelines” to view the technique.
  • Ensure that all sharps and microscope slides are disposed into a sharps container.
  • If an injury occurs, clean the affected area with soap and water for 15 minutes, then seek medical attention.
  • Promptly report all injuries on PeopleSoft and to your supervisor.

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Reference: EHSO Sharps Guidelines and references within (Search for “Sharps Guidelines“)

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