There is a great need to dispose of needles, syringes and used sharps. This need for a special system for removing sharp objects is derived from the damage that can be caused by an injury caused by a used needle. Risks include the contraction of blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C and HIV from contaminated blood in needles. Even if a needle is not contaminated, the psychological impact of that injury while waiting for the results of the test can be significant. The responsibility to remove sharp objects safely and correctly rests with you.

HSE – 2013 Health and Safety Regulations (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) states that “all employers are required by current health and safety legislation to adequately assess the risk of injuries from sharp objects.” and take the appropriate control measures. about the existing law and provide specific details about the requirements that health employers and their contractors must meet. “

What employers should take action regarding the Sharps Regulation? – Regulations 3 and 4

The employer’s obligations in the sharps policy regulations apply only if you are an employer whose primary activity is the administration, organization or delivery of medical care (a health care employer); or a contractor who works for a health employer and his or her staff may be at risk of suffering a sharp injury on the premises or work under the direction and supervision of the health care employer (eg, laundry, custodian, cleaners), nurses, and physicians substitutes). However, the Contractor’s obligations will only apply to the extent that they control work involving medical sharps.

It should be clear if these regulations apply to your organization, but if you have questions, it is worth consulting with HSE.

Control of hazardous substances for health (COSHH) Regulation 7 (6) (c) requires a robust procedure or system to ensure that contaminated waste is disposed of safely. Point-of-use regulations make it more difficult by requiring that clearly marked and secure containers be placed near areas where medical sharps are used. Instructions for personnel on the safe Sharps disposal should also be placed in these areas.

In many health care facilities, garbage cans can be placed next to the health worker to remove used sharps. For example, in this case, this can be done by placing the sharps container on the dispensing carriage. Or, in a GP surgery, it is necessary to have one in each consultation.

Sharps containers are bright yellow so they are easily identifiable and often have color-coded covers to distinguish their exact uses.

Yellow sharps containers are intended for contaminated sharps only for incineration. They are recommended for the segregation, collection and elimination of partially discarded sharps contaminated with other drugs that are not cytotoxic or cytostatic.

Orange-tipped containers are for non-medicinal cutting objects intended for autoclaving. They are recommended for the segregation, collection and elimination of sharp objects that are completely unloaded and should not be contaminated with cytotoxic or cytostatic drugs or other drugs.


Purple sharps containers are intended for sharps contaminated with cytos and are only intended for incineration. They are recommended for the separation, collection and elimination of sharp objects contaminated with cytotoxic or cytostatic drugs.