Needlestick accidents can occur when removing trash. When disposing of trash from restrooms, trash bins, or general public areas, anything can be found. Being aware of the potential risk inside these trash bags could prevent a sharp injury.
To protect yourself:
Never reach into the trash container.
- Hold full trash bags away from your body.
- If you notice improper disposal of needles, contact your supervisor.
- Make sure there is adequate lighting when working in dark areas to avoid accidental contact with used needles or other sharp objects.
- If you find a needle or syringe, always assume it is contaminated and handle it accordingly.
- Always wear proper PPE, such as protective gloves, when handling trash or cleaning.
What do I do if I am Exposed?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, follow these guidelines if you are exposed to a needlestick:
- Wash needlesticks and cuts with soap and water
- Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water
- Rinse eyes with clean water
- Report the incident to your supervisor
- Immediately seek medical treatment