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Medical Equipment - Sharps/Needle Boxes Risk Assessment

What are the specific requirements for the deployment of sharps containers?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

The Joint Commission references OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (1910.1030) that applies to occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials in healthcare settings.  All organizations must follow this requirement.

Additionally, The Joint Commission standard EC.02.01.01 requires organizations to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to determine but not limited to:
  • Type of containment devices
  • Locations
  • Patient population
  • Secure storage and transit (access control)
  • Procedures and controls to be implemented
  • Potential adverse impact of equipment
  • Potential risk to the occupants
  • Potential risk to visitors (perhaps with small children)
Multi-disciplinary input should include; infection control, risk management, and the safety officer.

NIOSH recommended wall mounting height:
  • Standing workstation: 52 to 56 inches above the standing surface of the user
  • Seated workstation: 38 to 42 inches above the floor on which the chair rests
These height installation recommendations from NIOSH will comfortably accommodate 95% of all adult female workers.

Additional Resources:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (1910.1030)
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines Sharps Disposal Containers
Manual: Critical Access Hospital
Chapter: Environment of Care EC
Last reviewed by Standards Interpretation: June 13, 2023 Represents the most recent date that the FAQ was reviewed (e.g. annual review).
First published date: April 11, 2016 This Standards FAQ was first published on this date.
This page was last updated on October 24, 2023 with update notes of: Editorial changes only Types of changes and an explanation of change type: Editorial changes only: Format changes only. No changes to content. | Review only, FAQ is current: Periodic review completed, no changes to content. | Reflects new or updated requirements: Changes represent new or revised requirements.
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