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Health and Safety Directorate

Safer Sharps

'Sharps' are needles, blades (such as scalpels) and other instruments that are necessary for carrying out healthcare work / research or teaching experiments or in every day work and could cause an injury by cutting or pricking the skin. Broken glass that has contained hazardous chemicals for example can be viewed in the same way. 

A sharps injury is an incident, which causes a needle, blade (such as scalpel) or other medical instruments to penetrate the skin. This is sometimes called a percutaneous injury.


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