Before the procedure
Eliminate or substitute sharps
The best way to avoid needlestick and other sharps injuries is to avoid using a sharps device when it is not necessary, or use tools to minimize the hazard, such as a safety-engineered device or a needle-syringe holder.
Identify all sharps devices in your procedures, then do the following:
Think of ways to perform the task without a sharps device. Examples:
- Eliminate glass by choosing plastic when possible.
- Use a blunt needle instead of a sharp needle.
Additional suggestions for eliminating sharps are provided below.
Select a safer device that will accomplish the same result while also lowering your risk of injury. Examples:
- Use sharp tissue scissors to cut tissue rather than a razor blade for more control.
- Use a plastic gel cutter instead of a razor blade to cut electrophoresis gels.
Additional suggestions for substituting sharps are provided below.
EH&S can recommend safer sharps devices that align with your procedures and desired result.
It is estimated that 62-88% of injuries can be avoided through the use of safer devices.