E: support@e-carehub.co.uk



Sharps Policy

General Statement

{{org_field_name}} believes that adherence to strict guidelines on infection control is of paramount importance in ensuring the safety of people receiving care and staff.

{{org_field_name}} understands the term “sharps” to refer typically to medical equipment such as syringe needles and blood test lancets that have the potential to cause injuries and illness following accidents.


The aim of {{org_field_name}} is to ensure the safety of staff and people receiving care where staff are required, as part of their delivery of care, to help an individual with injections or the disposal of self-generated sharps waste.


  1. Ensure that people receiving care, their families and staff are as safe as possible from acquiring infections.
  2. Ensure that all staff are aware of and put into action the basic principles of infection control.
  3. Reduce the incidence of needlestick incidents to an absolute minimum and ensure the safest possible working environment.
  4. Ensure that proper procedure is being followed regarding the disposal of sharps.
  5. Ensure that waste sharps boxes are not being overfilled and are being removed for incineration promptly.
  6. Ensure that any accidents or incidents involving sharps are appropriately managed and investigated.


Staff should adhere to the following guidelines when dealing with sharps.

Use of sharps

  1. Staff should avoid the unnecessary use of sharps where possible. Assistance with sharps or injections will only be considered in exceptional circumstances as part of an agreed plan of care which has included a thorough risk assessment. Any staff involved in agreed procedures should be appropriately trained and their competence checked and assured. Care staff should never handle sharps or help someone with injections where a suitable risk assessment and training is not in place.
  2. Where it is not reasonably practicable to avoid the use of medical sharps, staff should:
    a. use “safer” sharps wherever possible — new technologies that aim to prevent accidents
    b. avoid the recapping of needles
    c. place secure containers close to the work area.

Disposal of sharps (eg used needles and blood test lancets)

  1. Sharps should be disposed of in proper, purpose-built sharps disposal containers provided by the person using them and complying with an appropriate standard, such as ISO 23907-1:2019 or BS EN ISO 23907:2012. Sharps should never be disposed of in ordinary waste bins or bags.
  2. Staff should never resheath needles or attempt to bend or break them or separate them from the syringe.
  3. Sharps disposal boxes should never be overfilled and no attempt should ever be made to force waste into a full container.
  4. Boxes should be placed where they are accessible to the job in hand. Staff should avoid situations where they have to cross rooms with unsheathed sharps to get to a disposal box.
  5. Used, filled boxes should be stored securely until collected for incineration by an appropriate licensed waste handler.

Needlestick or sharps injuries

In the event of an injury with a used or potentially contaminated needle, staff should:

  1. wash the area immediately and encourage bleeding if the skin is broken
  2. apply a dressing
  3. report the incident immediately and fill in an incident form
  4. report immediately to a GP, occupational health department, or accident and emergency
  5. the supervisor or manager should ensure that immediate appropriate first-aid action is taken
  6. the supervisor or manager should ensure that the incident is properly recorded and investigated and that appropriate post-exposure prophylaxis is provided in cases where there may be exposure to a blood-borne virus.

Infection Control Training

  1. Infection control should be included in the induction training for all new staff.
  2. Infection control refresher training sessions should be conducted as required and all relevant staff should attend.
  3. Staff who are required to assist people with injections, with blood glucose checks or with the disposal of self-generated sharps waste will be provided with adequate training from a suitable healthcare professional. All such training will be recorded and will include an assessment of competence.
  4. Training will cover:
    a. the safe use and disposal of medical sharps
    b. the correct use of “safer” sharps
    c. what to do in the event of a sharps injury
    d. the employer’s arrangements for health surveillance.
  5. Each employee who is exposed to a risk of injury at work from medical sharps will be provided with information which covers:
    a. risks from injuries involving medical sharps
    b. relevant legal duties on employers and workers
    c. good practice in preventing injury
    d. the benefits and drawbacks of vaccination
    e. support available.

Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

Next review date: this policy is reviewed annualy (every 12 months). When needed, this policy is also updated in response to changes in legislation, regulation, best practices, or organisational changes.

Copyright ©2024 {{org_field_name}}. All rights reserved

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