Hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, even tattoo parlors use needles and other sharp medical instruments; it is important that they are disposed of properly to prevent the spread of pathogens. The sharps containers are available in many different sizes; large, floor models will be found in an operating room whereas small clinics and even home clients will use a mail back sharps disposal service. Regardless of the size, they all must be safe to use and they must not allow a needle puncture.
When deciding the proper sharps container the first factor to consider is where it will be used. If the container is going to be used in a large medical practice or a hospital, then a large floor mounted unit is ideal. On the other hand, if it is to be used at home to dispose of needles that are used by a diabetic then a smaller unit is advisable as it can be put out of reach of pets and small children. A small sharps container can also be mailed in for safe and secure disposal.
The second thing to ensure is that it has an easy opening mechanism so that the sharps can be tossed without having to come into contact with them. A container that can easily be opened with one hand is best as the other hand will be occupied with the needle.
Sharps containers are normally available in yellow and red with red being the most common and popular choice. The objective of color is to act as a warning and to call attention to the fact that there is a potentially hazardous area close by. Colors other than red can easily be confused with a simple trash can; this is especially true if the sharps container is a floor model. It is also important the container be marked with the bio-hazard symbol as additional warning of possible contamination.
Although there are a number of different approved materials, plastic is by far the most common; plastic containers are inexpensive and safe.
Disposing of the containers is just as important as getting the best container to begin with. There are manufacturers that provide a safe shipping container that allows you to mail the sharps back for disposal.
Sharps Assure offer a mail-back sharps disposal service. The program includes everything that is necessary to package up and mail used sharps back for safe disposal. The program is ideal for doctors offices, veterinarians, tattoo parlors and home use.