7.6.1  Safety boxes

Needle-stick injuries can transmit blood-borne infections! Do not try to recap the needle, because in doing this you could easily prick your finger.

In order to avoid anyone being pricked by used needles and other ‘sharps’ (e.g. lancets), they should always be discarded with care. Immediately after injecting a vaccine, the syringe and needle should be placed in a nearby Safety Box (Figure 7.2).

Figure 7.2  Safety box in an immunization clinic. (Photo: Basiro Davey)

A five-litre safety box can hold about 100 needles and syringes. It is important not to wait until the safety box is completely full before disposing of it. It should be closed when it is about three-quarters full.

Do no overfill the safety box!
  • Can you explain why safety boxes should not be filled?

  • If the safety box is full, you could injure yourself on something sharp near the top of the box when you try to add more injection equipment.

7.6  Safe waste disposal

7.6.2  Incineration and other methods of burning waste