The greatest risks when using needles, syringes, and other sharps are accidental injection and the creation of aerosols. Safer needles and syringes should be explored when there are no other alternatives to using needles.

  • Sharps should be kept away from the fingers as much as possible.
  • Sharps should never be bent, sheared, or recapped; needles should not be removed from syringes after use.
  • If a contaminated needle must be recapped or removed from the syringe, a mechanical device, such as a forceps, must be used.

Disposing of sharps

The Sharps and Glass Disposal (PDF) flow chart specifies proper procedures for sharps disposal. If a sharp is contaminated with biological material, it must be decontaminated before disposal.