Medical professionals are the most vulnerable group when it comes to accidental needle sticks. Improperly capped or forgotten sharps can quickly become a hazard as healthcare workers move through their daily activities. With this fact in mind, it’s critical to understand the importance of proper placement of biohazard waste containers. When these receptacles are within arm’s reach, users are more likely to place the sharps inside without any harmful repercussions among innocent bystanders.
Sharps and Bin Locations
The best location for biohazard sharps containers is at eye level. At about five feet above the floor, medical workers will always have these receptacles in sight as they work long shifts. Higher locations on the wall may make them difficult to reach, and you do not want people will simply skip the discarding process out of convenience. Low-level biohazard receptacles should be placed on the floor in a corner where there are no chairs or tables that could potentially knock their exteriors.
Strategic Orientation Away From Children
Biohazard containers should always be located far from any children’s areas. Pediatric waiting rooms may need a sharps receptacle, but it can be located on a desk with a medical professional. Children can be very agile when they’re curious, and an unsupervised sharps box could be seen as a sort of toy to a child. Biohazard waste is always locked inside, but medical facilities should take that extra step and physically keep the items away from children’s hands.
In the Emergency Room
The emergency room is an incredibly busy and stressful area where multiple sharps boxes and biohazard containers are necessary. Continue to place them in locations where they are easily seen and accessible for disposal of any type of biohazard material. Be sure the quantities on hand fit the patient volume at the facility and they are arranged in a manner that is sensible based on the procedures being performed. If patients are often triaged in one particular hallway, extra containers might be located along these walls. Medical workers might test their movements through the emergency room so that they can know what feels natural as they go about their cleanup duties. Add more containers where injections and blood drawing occur.
Self-Injectors in a Medical Facility
Patients with diabetes, for example, may need to inject themselves at a medical facility. Typically these individuals will use a rest room so there should always be a biohazard sharps container in both the men’s and women’s facilities. In an adult waiting room, place at least one container where it is easily visible to patients. Self-injectors will be able to discreetly administer their medications and slip the needle away in a safe manner.
Biohazard containers are normally emptied by the supplying company. Medical facilities should work closely with biohazard waste professionals in order to remain updated with the latest safety measures. Every person involved with medical sharps and containers needs to be diligent about their discarding protocols.