Choosing the Right Sharps Containers for Your Facility
Regulations state that healthcare facilities must follow specific criteria when choosing sharps containers.
Implementing a sharps safety program is the best defense against sharps-related injury. OSHA recommends that institutions look at their needle devices to determine safety and check how sharps are being handled and disposed of. Part of this process includes choosing the right sharps container to keep sharps out of the trash and held in a safe receptacle prior to disposal.
According to the FDA, sharps disposal guidelines state:
- Used sharps can only be disposed of in a sharps container
- Sharps containers may be purchased from supply companies, such as Red Bags
- Sharps containers must be rigid, puncture-proof, and have lids that seal securely
Sharps containers are regulated by the FDA as a Class II general hospital medical device through the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. It has published a detailed list of questions product evaluators should ask when selecting a sharps container that manufacturers should consider in the design process. These include puncture resistance, safety features, opening and closing mechanisms, potential for spillage, ease of use, safe transport, autoclaving capability, handling procedures, container color and warning labels, overfill protection, container access, mounting systems, and cost effectiveness.
The CDC also offers a “performance criteria” for sharps disposal containers, outlining what is required for safe containment and accessibility. This criteria includes functionality, accessibility, visibility, and accommodation.
Aside from regulations, facilities should determine how quickly they will accumulate sharps waste, how many sharps areas they will require, or, if applicable, will they be mobile or fixed sharps containers?
The easiest way to select the right sharps container is to work with a certified and responsible medical waste disposal company like Red Bags. When you work with Red Bags, you are working with a company who can help you manage all of your medical and pharmaceutical waste disposal needs, including purchasing the right sharps container for your facility. We can ensure your staff’s safety and your company’s regulatory compliance through our online OSHA Compliance Training program.
Contact Red Bags today!
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