Alongside healthcare facility staff, employees in veterinary settings must also have proper knowledge of sharps handling and disposal. Personnel who utilize sharps in daily operations must practice needle safety. As common daily practices, the veterinary staff uses sharp objects when administering injections, collecting blood samples, placing in catheters, and performing surgical procedures.
Improper needle use leads to sharps injuries or exposure to biohazardous materials. Therefore, everyone benefits from approaching the use of sharp objects in veterinary environments responsibly. For continual workplace health and safety, here’s how to safely use sharps in veterinary medicine.
Sharps Handling: Avoiding Needle-Stick Injuries
Applying safety measures to sharps concerns within a veterinary workplace is important to avoid adverse situations. Needle-stick or sharps injuries are more common than industry employees tend to realize. Fortunately, these injuries are avoidable with the right precautions. First, identify any sharps utilized within the facility and determine if any alternative devices can replace the tool. This reduction policy minimizes the risk of job accidents.
Another method of how to safely use sharps in veterinary medicine involves pacing and timing. The best safety practice includes taking the time and care to perform procedures and tasks. Rushing often leads to preventable incidents. Staff members operating sharps should always keep these tools in their protective casings until they need to use them. Also, avoiding needle recapping reduces the likelihood of inadvertently sticking oneself.
Sharps Disposal: Reducing Hazardous Exposure
After using a sharp object, veterinary employees should place it directly in an appropriate sharps container—not in general trash bags. Place this approved waste container in areas that use sharps most often. Properly disposing of these objects is an ideal safety practice.
Employees should also never transfer sharps from one container to another. These practices increase physical risks for all staff members on the job site.
Training: OSHA Sharps Regulations
OSHA standards and regulations are in place to protect workers from risks associated with skin penetration and the possible exposure to infectious agents from sharps. Providing employee training on the best practices and techniques for sharp device use and handling is key to achieving compliance. Awareness and cognizance reduce the number of daily hazards in veterinary settings.
For your veterinary OSHA compliance needs, turn to Gamma Compliance Solutions. We’re here to help provide a safe and healthy veterinary workplace. Browse our compliance resources specific to the pet healthcare field. In addition to our comprehensive veterinary OSHA compliance manual, we offer user-friendly standard compliance training to keep employees up-to-date on the best practices to meet standards. Contact our team with any questions about our compliance products and packages today.