Original story submitted to The Beat by Sona Jassal, Client Partner — Exposure Prevention, Safety and Well-being, Employee Experience at Fraser Health.
Single use sharps containers are being replaced with Daniels Health reusable Sharpsmart containers.
If you work in a clinical setting, here’s what you need to know:
- The container colors will remain the same and a variety of sizes are available.
- There is no change to the current waste program, units will replace containers when they reach the fill line, housekeeping will ensure they are taken to the designated location before the containers are shipped offsite for emptying, cleaning and disinfection.
- The Daniels Health team is working with each site and department to identify their sharps disposal needs, the most suitable product options and any installation needs.
- Current containers will be replaced, where possible, with a similar size of the new product that can be used in the current locations.
The reusable sharps disposal containers have been successfully used at COVID-19 immunization clinics across Fraser Health since March 2021. The containers have a hands-free design with clinically engineered safety features such as a built-in safety tray that restricts overfilling and automatically drops each sharps device into the container. This limits the amount of times a person needs to touch the container and therefore decreases cross-contamination risk, and eliminates the risk of getting poked by a needle that did not “drop” into the container after a previous use or because the container became too full.
WorkSafeBC reports that needlestick injuries are the number one cause of high-risk exposures to blood and body fluids for health care workers. It is estimated that B.C.’s health care and social service workers sustain over 5,000 needlestick injuries each year. A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 22 per cent of these injuries happen during or after needle disposal.
Scientific literature has shown to reduce needlestick injuries through the implementation of the new containers, which offer several additional safety features and are more environmentally-friendly than our current disposable containers.
After use, the containers will be taken offsite where the Daniels Health team uses a robotic washing system to process every container. Choosing these reusable containers, instead of disposable, dramatically reduces the volume of plastic and cardboard being sent to the landfill. So, the new reusable Sharpsmart containers protect against needlestick injuries and infection risk, while also reducing environmental burden.
For more information, contact email@example.com.