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Rosenberg, Kirby, Cahill, Stankowitz & Richardson

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The dangers of working with sharps

Working in the medical field is valuable, but there are also risks. When you think of work-related hazards, you may think about slips and falls, but you can also face serious injuries or illnesses due to improper sharps disposal.

According to the FDA, there is a two-step process for disposal.

Understanding work hazards

A stick from a needle may not seem like it could cause much of an injury at first. However, needles could have contaminants from other people’s blood. Blood-borne illnesses transmit through needles, including HIV, Hepatitis C and other illnesses. If someone overfills a sharps container, you have a higher chance of injuring yourself on the needle.

Disposing of needles

When using a sharps disposal container, never fill it more than three-quarters of the way. As soon as you finish using the needle, dispose of it immediately. Do not wait to place it in the disposal container. Medical facilities should only use containers cleared by the FDA. You should seal your container and ensure proper labels are present to prevent others from injury. When you dispose of the needle, do not try to bend or break the needle. Likewise, do not try to put the cap back on. You can easily hurt yourself or develop an infection. If you have to remove a needle, use a clipper.

When you suffer injuries due to medical equipment at work, you may have thousands of dollars in damages to account for. Working within the legal system, you must face off against medical facilities and their doctors, resulting in a complex process.