Needle Disposal in Public Places

Last updated on January 12, 2022

Every year throughout the United States, 8 million people use more than 3 billion sharps to manage medical conditions at home. Needle disposal in public places is a growing concern. With more and more Americans self-injecting, many employers are choosing to follow the guidance included in OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to help reduce the potential of employee and customer needlesticks. If self-injectors do not have convenient access to proper sharps disposal, the needle typically ends up in the trash or discarded in a parking lot or other public area.

The Costs of Accidental Needlesticks

Not providing a sharps disposal system for employees and customers to use at work can be dangerous and expensive. Accidental needlesticks can result in hepatitis B or C,  HIV, and even Zika virus. If an employee or customer receives a needlestick while, for example, emptying the trash or using the restroom, direct and indirect costs to your organization can include the following:

  • Cost for months of testing
  • Cost for treatment of disease if transmission occurs
  • Damage to brand name
  • Legal liability
  • Potential regulatory citations
  • Cost of time to investigate
  • Potential employee replacement
  • Stress and anxiety for all involved, including families
How to Prevent Needle Stick Injuries

To accommodate self-injectors and limit potential needlesticks, install sharps containment and disposal systems in public restrooms. Sharps Compliance offers the Sharps Secure and Covidien systems. These systems feature lockable wall enclosures designed for use with Sharps Recovery System sharps containers and prepaid mailing boxes. Once the container is full, simply package it in the prepaid box, and drop it off at your post office or schedule a USPS pickup for safe, compliant, and environmentally-friendly treatment.  This convenient service is easy to use and saves you time.

Sharps Compliance’s customers have access to SharpsTracer, our online tracking program, where you can run reports and print your proof of treatment. The cost savings to organizations for acting to reduce the chance of needlesticks can far outweigh the cost of providing a safe and compliant sharps disposal program.