Ever notice a sharps wall box in restroom gas station, grocery store or other facility? Then again, you’ve likely seen plenty without. This disparity might have you wondering whether or not you really need to have one. The short answer is YES. But before we get into why your business needs a sharps wall box, let’s back up a minute. What exactly is a “sharp”, and when might you come across one?
What Is a Sharp?
The medical community uses the word sharp to describe items with a point or edge that could puncture the skin. Examples include hollow needles used to inject medicines. Others include syringes that either inject into or withdraw fluid from the body. In addition, there are lancets or fingerstick devices for blood testing, and auto injectors like insulin pens with pre-filled medicines.
Imagine someone uses your facility’s restroom to administer a diabetic or allergy injection. Would you have a safe place to store the discarded needle? If not, the infectious waste is likely to end up in the trash, flushed down the toilet, or placed in a feminine hygiene container, which could be a huge problem. Here are three reasons why your business needs a sharps wall box.
1) Sharps are a Health Hazard
Think of all the times you’ve taken out the trash and seen objects like broken glass poking out of the bag. It’s dangerous. But just think if it was also contaminated with blood borne pathogens, which is what happens when sharp needles are discarded in the trash. The situation immediately becomes far more serious, especially if the waste handler gets pierced and is at risk of If a contracting an infectious disease, such as Hepatitis C.
There’s environmental considerations too. When infectious sharps are mixed in with recyclables, they can cause whole loads to be rejected and sent to landfills instead. Moreover, when they’re loose in the environment, sharps quickly become a public health hazard.
2) Sharps Lawsuits and Needless Plumbing Bills
More than 100 million people in the US are living with diabetes or prediabetes – almost 30 percent of the population. They often need to check their blood sugar levels, and possibly follow that with an insulin injection. If you don’t have a rigid sharps box to put their discarded needle, lancet or fingerstick device into, could you explain why you don’t have one?
In high traffic restrooms, such as airports, parks, hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries and office buildings, the risk is greater for a needle or sharps puncture by janitorial staff member if there is no place to properly throw the needle or sharp object away. As a result, needlestick injury lawsuits happen.
Beyond lawsuits, there’s an issue of plumbing bills for removing syringes from toilets (Sacramento Bee: https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/city-beat/article185288903.html) which is easily remedied by simply hanging a sharps box in your restroom or first aid station. And, speaking of expense, what you might not realize is…
3) Sharps Wall Boxes are Cheaper than You Think
A sharps box is surprisingly economical to install and service, especially when considering the time, stress and expense that’s endured by an employee who is accidentally poked and has to undergo costly tests to determine if an infectious disease was transmitted.
Plus, the cost of MERI’s 5 quart sharps disposal system is inexpensive compared to the cost of a lawsuit.
Those in need of a durable wall mounted sharps box solution often select MERI’s rugged black 5 quart Sharps Guard disposal box or rugged black 1 quart Sharps Guard disposal box. Both of these black sharps boxes are made from the same a high-density plastic found in professional baseball helmets, so they can hold up well in a gas station or park restroom that may not be checked on a regular basis throughout the day.
MERI’s Sharps Disposal Systems Feature Everything You Need
All of MERI’s sharps disposal systems come with a rigid lockable sharps wall box, biohazard container insert, medical waste disposal mailback kit to send back the waste when its full and a manifest that documents its proper disposal.
Just follow the mailback kit instructions, including signing the manifest on the side of the shipping box, before sending it back via your local US Post Office. This video outlines how easy MERI’s mailback kits are to use.
Why the Hesitation When the Remedy is Simple?
The risks of not having a sharps disposal kiosks are numerous, but the remedy is simple, as this editorial notes. Avoid health and environmental hazards by mounting a sharps disposal box in your business’s restroom.