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Careful handling of sharps will prevent injury and reduce the risk of infection. An accident or injury involving a sharp contaminated with human blood or other infectious material may result in an individual being infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), or other pathogens.

Safe Disposal of Sharps

  • Used sharps must be discarded immediately into sharps containers.
  • Sharps containers must be kept upright. 
  • Necer reach into a sharps disposal container or broken glassbox. 
  • Sharps containers must be easily located in the immediate area where sharps are used. 
  • Never overfill sharps containers past the pre-marked "fill-line".
  • Close and lick lid when moving sharps containers from the area of use. 
  • Puncture-resistant sharps containers are provided by Safety and Risk.
  • When full, sharps containers are autoclaved and then picked up by Safety and Risk Management (SRM) through utilization of the Waste Pickup form. 
  • SRM will also replace sharps containers by request. 

Proper Handling of Needles and Rozor Blades

  • Never bend, break, or shear needles. 
  • Never remove needles from syringe barrels. 
  • Never recap needles after using. 

Recapping is permissible if it can be demonstrated to the Biosafety officer and SRM that no alternative is feasible or that such an action is required by a specific procedure. 

Responding to Needle Sticks

  • Expose the wound. 
  • Express blood from the wound. 
  • Flush wound for 5 minutes. 
  • Cover wound. 
  • Report incident to your supervisor. 
  • Immediately seek medical treatment. 
  • Report incident using the First Report of Injury form. 

For more information or assistance, contact the MSU Biosafety Officer Ryan Bartlett, [email protected], (406) 994-6733

Updated: June 30, 2022