What are Sharps Containers?
What are Sharps Containers?
First, let’s talk about what a sharp is. Sharps are a form of biomedical waste typically composed of needles and blades. Syringes, lancets and other medical devices used for self-injection or blood tests are the most common.
Improper handling of used sharps form a very serious danger. When a hypodermic needle is not disposed of safely, the person who stumbles upon the used sharp can be exposed to blood-borne diseases. Health care professionals are exposed to these dangers every day and go through extensive training to keep themselves and their co-workers safe.
To keep these used sharps safe and secure, smart people use a sharps container!
A sharps container is a hard plastic container, meeting FDA regulations.
These safety regulations promote the idea that each needle should only be used for one use and one person.
Depending on the size, each sharps container can hold a large number of used hypodermic needles and related material.
Sharps Container Dangers
A sharps container with a large capacity can remain, under normal circumstances, for quite some time in most locations. Not all locations have enough volume of users to fill a container quickly. Some locations fill them very quickly.
It is important to help look out for those who may not know how to look out for themselves. The unintended consequences of using a needle previously used by someone with a serious infection is a scary thought in today’s disease heightened state of awareness.
Security of your sharps container is even more important if your container is in a high risk environment such as homeless shelters, correctional facility medical departments, infirmaries, mental health facilities and even needle exchange sites.
Sharps Container Enclosures & Cabinets
Wall mount enclosures for sharps containers can be made from plastic or metal. Using thin gauge metals provides a false sense of security and does little to stop tampering.
Plastic sharps containers are great for home use. It is far better to use a real sharps container for your home rather than use old laundry soap containers. With the advent of free sharps drop off locations, it is best to help keep needles out of improper disposal sites.
Plastic mounts are not able to be secured tightly to a wall in any environment and tend to wobble after a short amount of usage. With facility budgets already tight, plastic prices might be attractive on paper, but replace it just once and you discover that between labor and downtime, you were better off investing in a real secure housing.
While thin metal cabinets may be puncture-proof, they do not stand up to a determined attacker intent on gaining access to the contents. They are also easily removed from wall mounts as the mounting screws are typically nothing more than drywall screws.
Thin gauge sheet metal enclosures do not provide maximum security for sharps. It takes a commitment to safety to truly design specifications for a tamper proof sharps container enclosure. Determined thieves and vandals can tamper with thin gauge systems using just a little extra work.
If you are thinking of a 16 gauge steel metal cabinet for your secure location, we suggest you think again.
After decades of building tamper proof and vandal resistant products, our design engineers determined that while 14 gauge might be acceptable, we would build our enclosure with 12 gauge steel.
When you see our enclosure in your hands, and then see the thinner 16 gauge cabinets, you instantly become a believer in the Vandal Stop philosophy of what it means to keep your sharps containers secure.
Securing Sharps Containers
The purpose of securing sharps is public health and safety. Under normal circumstances a sharps container would always be in a monitored location. This is obviously not always possible.
Facility managers in prisons and jails know that it is virtually impossible to watch every square inch all the time.
Treatment facilities and homeless shelters are busy dealing with the demands of their clients and can attest to how their attention can not be on every single thing all the time.
Minimally supervised locations such as public parks, areas such as rest stops, gas stations, restrooms all benefit from the added security Vandal Stop provides while making the convenience of your visitors and customers a priority.
If you are in need of a sharps secure needle disposal system, we suggest you look at our heavy duty locking sharps container enclosure.
Our compact, Division 10 Specialties Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Locking Sharps Container was specifically designed for use in public use restroom facilities.
It was designed to be and installed in all high usage areas that suffer from constant vandalism and abuse.
If you are looking for the peace of mind that comes with having a solution you buy once and install once, look no further than VandalStop.
Should you have any questions for our team, or need to challenge our engineers with your own use case, feel free to contact us.