Sharps Injury & Disposal


Unprotected contact with a discarded syringe needle puncture the skin, causing a needle stick injury. If the needle has been used by someone carrying a blood-borne disease like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV), cross-infection could occur.

First aid for needle stick injury, combined with safe syringe handling and disposal, is essential for School Nurses, Outdoor Education staff and school grounds keepers.


Needle Stick Injury

1. Wash affected area with running water and soap as soon as possible. Use hand sanitiser if soap and water aren't available. Do not force or encourage wound to bleed.

2. Apply antiseptic and cover with a sterile dressing.

3. Seek medical advice from a GP or hospital emergency department as soon as possible.


Safe Syringe Disposal 

1. Don gloves.

2. Place an open, puncture-proof sharps container, strong plastic or glass screw-top container on a flat surface near the syringe.

3. Use forceps to pick up the syringe by the middle of the barrel. DO NOT pick up by the needle end. Keep the sharp point facing away.

4. DO NOT try to bend, break off or re-cap the needle. Place the syringe, sharp point down, into the sharps container and secure the lid.

5. Remove gloves by carefully rolling off to inside-out. Place the gloves, and forceps in a bio-hazard bag or similarly robust and labelled container.

6. Wash hands thoroughly.

7. Dispose of the bio-hazard bag and contents in accordance with local council requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do disposable gloves protect me from needle stick injury? No, a needle can puncture latex, vinyl or nitrile.

What is the risk of blood-borne disease transmission? The risk level is low, but every precaution should be taken to firstly follow workplace safety procedures, and needle stick injury first aid if an incident does occur.

What first aid supplies do I need for needle stick injury and disposal? A Sharps Clean-Up Kit is the easiest way to keep needle stick injury first aid supplies and safe sharps disposal equipment in one handy box. We offer two sizes, both come with step-by-step instructions and are ready to grab and run to an emergency. Your School First Aid Room should also be equipped with sharps-related Hygiene and PPE equipment like a sharps disposal container, hand sanitiser and dressings.