Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 97-111c, 1998 Jan; :1-37
Occupational transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been well documented. The safety performance criteria for sharps disposal containers are divided into four areas. First, containers should remain functional during their entire use. They should be durable, leak resistant, and puncture resistant under all normal environmental conditions. Second, containers must be accessible to workers who use, maintain, or dispose of sharp devices. This criterion includes sufficient number, sufficient container volume, and safe access to the disposal opening on individual containers. Other important factors include convenient placement and (if necessary) portability of containers within the workplace. Third, containers should be visible to the workers who must use them. Container fill status and warning labels are also important visibility criteria. Fourth, container designs should accommodate the user, the facility, and the environment. Although engineering controls such as needless IV systems and "safety" needles will reduce injuries, proper selection and use of sharps disposal containers are still important. Prevention strategies include implementing engineering controls, using personal protective equipment, training employees, and involving occupational health professionals and workers. This kit contains a NIOSH document "Selecting, Evaluating, and Using Sharps Disposal Containers," NIOSH 97-111, which presents a comprehensive framework for selecting sharps disposal containers and evaluating their efficacy as part of an overall needle stick injury prevention plan. In addition to the document, the kit contains: a file folder, NIOSH 97-111a; a Rolodex card with numbers and addresses for contacting NIOSH, NIOSH 97-111b; a Dear Colleague Letter, NIOSH 97-111c; camera ready public service announcements for sharps disposal containers, NIOSH 97-111d; an order form for "Sharps Disposal Containers"- NIOSH 97 -111, NIOSH 97-111e; and a postage-paid interest evaluation card, NIOSH 97-111f.