Reducing Needlestick Injuries 

In 2015 EXPO-STOP, the largest sharps exposure survey in the United States, conducted research on 182 hospitals from 38 states. The results showed:

  • Approximately 1,000 healthcare workers sustain a sharps injury DAILY
  • 40% of reported sharps injuries were sustained by nurses, 35% doctors; and 2-4% were environmental services staff
  • Of EVS staff, the two main causes were (I) handling sharps containers (ii) improper disposal of sharps
  • Surgical sharps injuries represented 38% of all sharps injuries reported


Serving healthcare for over 30 years, we are very cognizant that an issue as big as this is not solved by putting forward a single remedy in isolation. A sharps container, no matter how safe, cannot eliminate the issue of needlestick injuries single handedly; albeit vital, it is a single piece of a much bigger strategy. Industry reporting of NI, sharps container placement, staff training, SED use and other preventative strategies all form part of the collective need of safeguarding healthcare workers from sharps injuries.

"My injury didn't occur because I was careless or distracted or not paying attention to what I was doing. This injury and the life-threatening consequences I am now suffering should not have happened."

Karen Daley  - former president of the American Nurses Association 


Karen Daley's story is sadly not a "needle in a haystack" occurance; her story is felt by healthcare practitioners around the globe. Eliminating sharps injuries relies on many factors – safer devices, safer sharps containers, leadership focus and safety process adoption. However overall, as an industry and as a group of people committed to improving safety for healthcare workers, it requires a collaborative effort ensure that everyone; healthcare practitioners, EVS staff and patients, get home safely at the end of the day. To support our healthcare partners in the execution of their needlestick injury aversion strategies, we have put together this library of resources to help support in driving much needed awareness and training around the safe handling of sharps. 




The Human Cost

There is no “convenient time” for a sharps injury to occur and, especially within the OR, many practitioners report a certain stigmatism against reporting a stick. 

"My injury didn't occur because I was careless or distracted or not paying attention to what I was doing. This injury and the life-threatening consequences I am now suffering should not have happened. And worst of all, this injury would not have happened if a safer sharps container had been in place in my work setting."

Karen Daley  - former president of the American Nurses Association 

After interviewing clinicians from “Exposure Aware” hospitals, researchers established four common themes found in successfully limiting exposures:


Orientations, annual refreshers, modules, coaching


Campaigns, talking to Administration, daily huddles


Counseling on how/why incidents happen, detailed description of use, staff meetings, prevention strategies


Monthly reports, commitment to rules, manager participation, leadership accountability

How to Prevent Sharps Injuries

Sharps Containers.
Role in Injury Reduction   

Daniels Sharpsmart, the world’s leading sharps disposal safety system, was the result of 5 years of R&D, clinical research and passion of our founder, Dan Daniels, to eliminate needlestick injuries.

There is no sharps container in the United States today that rivals the Sharpsmart’s safety features, its clinical peer reviewed studies that prove needlestick injury reduction across years of research, or its global before-and-after safety and sustainability results. For 20 years, the Daniels Sharpsmart container has led the industry.    

"By converting to a Daniels Sharpsmart Container, 
Container Related Needlestick Injuries were reduced by 86.6%"

Peer Reviewed Study published in the American Journal of Infection Control 

Essentials for selecting a Safe Sharps Container


Sharps containers should arrive pre-assembled, eliminating manual labor and sharps injury risk from incorrectly assembled containers. 


Sharps containers should be placed as close as possible to the point of sharps generation, with interchangeable mounting and movement capability 


A sharps container should be engineered with hand-restrictive access that prevents access to the disposed sharps. 


Overfill protection is a critical safety feature of a sharps container; a design that restricts ability to dispose of sharps beyond the containers' safe fill level.


Once secured, a sharps container should not be able to be forced open. Permanent locks should secure sharps from tampering and misuse. 


Sharps containers should be certified to United Nations PG2 specifications for Transport of Dangerous Goods; securing sharps containers in transit. 


Reusable sharps containers divert 33% of plastic from the sharps waste stream and have a significant impact on manufacturing, transport and supply chain emissions. 


To eliminate bacterial growth, reusable sharps containers should undergo a multi-step robotic sanitization process, and rigorous quality control inspection. 

Eliminate Container-Associated Sharps Injuries

One of the easiest preventative strategies for sharps exposures is selecting a sharps container with inbuilt safety features.


The Sharpsmart leads the industry in Safety.

The only sharps container in the world ISO 23907 certified and classified as a Safety-Engineered-Device, the Sharpsmart is designed with:

  • Inbuilt tamperproof locking mechanisms
  • Hands-free use, no cross-contamination
  • Gravity-Activated tray for finer needles
  • Inbuilt Overfill protection
  • Hand-Restrictive Access

Schedule a Demo

We would love to show you how our Sharpsmart system works. Call now to schedule an in-person or virtual demo.