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4.5 Use of Sharps

Use of sharp objects such as Pasteur pipettes, syringe needles, razors, glass slides, etc. must be utilized only when an adequate, less hazardous substitute cannot be found. Plastic ware must be substituted for glassware whenever possible.

Needle Use In Labs:

  1. Hollow bore or hypodermic needles have been adapted for a variety of purposes in the lab other than for their intended use; if needles must be employed, then make use of a type with safety features that shields the needle from the user to reduce the likelihood of puncture injury.
  2. Needles must not be bent, sheared, broken, recapped, removed from disposable syringes, or otherwise manipulated by hand before disposal.
  3. Substitute safe alternatives for needles whenever possible.

Choose safe alternatives to any sharps used in the lab if possible (i.e., use a plastic gel cutter rather than a razor blade for cutting gels) or eliminate the use of sharps when you can.

Personnel must be trained for safe use and disposal of sharps in BSL-1 and 2 work areas.

Broken glassware must not be handled directly. It must be recovered using a brush and dustpan, tongs or forceps.

Always use a mechanical device (such as forceps) to secure the material when cutting with scalpels, razor blades, etc.