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.
- Example: Use sharp tissue scissors to cut tissue rather than a razor blade for more control.
- Refer to the list of safety products available on the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society website, which also offers information on needlesticks and scalpel injuries.
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.