Safety

Tip of the week: Avoid these spots when mounting sharps containers

Hospital Safety Insider, March 5, 2008

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) dissuades you from mounting sharps containers inside cabinet doors.

Selecting, Evaluating, and Using Sharps Disposal Containers, a NIOSH publication, identifies that location as unsafe because it requires workers "to make unnecessary movements while holding a sharp and accessing the container."

The NIOSH publication identifies the following other inappropriate sharps container locations:

  • In corners of rooms
  • On the backs of doors
  • Under cabinets
  • Under sinks
  • In areas where people might sit or lie beneath the container
  • Near light switches, room environmental controls, or utility system access ways
  • Where the container is subject to impact and dislodgement by pedestrian traffic, moving equipment, gurneys, wheelchairs, or swinging doors

The bloodborne pathogens standard requires that sharps containers be "easily accessible to personnel," and OSHA could reference NIOSH in a citation.



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