Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

What we are going to do now is look at hazardous waste disposal. Now, mainly in this section, we are going to be looking at sharps disposal. Now, sharps are a particular hazard because if you are looking at something like a hypodermic needle, it's got a core inside which can hold blood and bodily fluids. So it's really important we dispose of them carefully, because what we don't want to be doing is leaving anything lying around, so it can get... Spike someone else. And then that would effectively be injecting someone else's blood into someone. Now, when you are disposing of stuff, you need to be really, really careful because first off, if you are having sharps, you cannot put them into plastic bags or bin bags or anything like that, even if they are hazardous waste bags. Because they are just going to go straight through the side. So sharps we would always dispose of off in a solid plastic container because this container can then be disposed of, depending on what type of hazardous waste is in here they are usually disposed of by incineration.

Now, plastic bags are good for other things, and they come in different colours and designs, depending on what the product is you are going to be disposing of. So if it's dressings or tissues and things like that, it will be different maybe from other types of waste. What we have done in the download area of the course is added a chart that tells you all of the different colours, what they are used for and what sort of waste goes inside them. So we look now just back on the sharps. So this is just a typical sharps box here. What you got here is there is a line, which is the maximum fill length. You don't want to be going over that because you want to make sure that you can get everything in there. And also with these sharps boxes, never be tempted to push down into them or shake them to try and get more stuff in them.

Once it gets to that line, they need to be sealed off and you need to get a new one. There is a label on the front, which you can identify where the sharps bin is. So for example, if it's in a hospital setting, you might write the hospital and the ward on there. Also, the date that it was started and the date that it's finished. So you have got a maximum, a period of time there. So depending on the policies of where you are working, it may well be that all sharps bins are sealed off over a set length of time. So it's important to know when the bin was started. So all that data goes on there. And you can have a little initial or a person's name followed by the data which actually sealed up. Other things on here, information about the particular box, what it actually has inside it, what's allowed to be inside it.

Now the designs of all these boxes are quite different. There are much larger ones and there are big ones and more like large buckets depending on what you are doing. So if you are doing work with a lot of needles, maybe taking blood, you are going to need larger containers than you would do if it's just occasional use. So this type of thing is a typical smaller unit, same with this one here. There are just different designs. If you are trying to dispose of syringes with needles attached to them, and you cannot remove the needle, you are going to need something a lot longer, which is where you have this type of box to put them in. In the tops, you have the hole where the product goes straight into. And also if you do need to uncap a needle, this is what this side is here.

It's a very safe way of removing a needle. So it just drops into the box itself. To seal them, close the lid over and then just click it shut. And then obviously mark on it to say, it's being used. This type here is slightly different. This is really for a single-use type thing. If you got a complete syringe, you put it in there and it also works quite well for putting auto-injectors and things like that in. Because with an auto-injector, you still got a needle in it, although it's covered once it's been used, it is still potentially a risk. You could put one of those in here to dispose of that, close it off, and it works in the same way.

Other ones here are just slightly different, with this in the lid, you have got a piece of plastic that just goes down when you actually put the item in and it closes off. It's just weighted, so it's always closed and it's only open when you pop it in to put the sharp in there. These are sort of some of the range, there are lots of different shapes and sizes. So if you are getting sharps boxes, always make sure that you are getting one's fit for purpose. They have got the right volume to hold in there. Are you holding complete syringes and needles or are you just getting disposing of the needles? But these box is built so good for any other application. So for example, glass vials or anything that is a potentially hazardous substance as a sharp, or if you are using dressings, things like that, you typically use the bags. And again, all of these things would be colour-coded.