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Sharps Safety

Standard Operating Procedure

Building: Combs Research Building
Room: 222
Department: Markey Cancer Center
PI: Andrew Pierce, PhD.

Section 1: Process, Hazardous Waste

Section 2: The purpose of the Sharps Safety module is to be used as a guideline to ensure the laboratory worker remains aware of the sharps materials stored and used in the labs and their potential hazards. Sharps materials include items such as glass pipettes, syringes, needles, scalpels, or any broken glassware in general.

Section 3: When working with any sharps materials, there is a potential chance that the lab worker could be injured by means of puncture wounds, injections, or lacerations to the skin. We will be working with many chemical and biological agents in this lab; therefore it is very important that the lab worker adhere to the Sharps Safety module to prevent any unnecessary accidents from occurring.

Section 4: When using sharps materials in combination with chemical or biological component, one must incorporate the use of PPE, personal protective equipment. At a minimum, all lab personnel should be wearing a lab coat or lab apron, gloves, and safety glasses. Full-face shields must be worn when conducting a procedure where splashing is a potential; although, we will mostly require using a cell culture hood with a glass shield for the majority of our biological material usage.

Section 5: The engineering controls for this lab will be the use of cell culture hoods to prevent the use and reduce the exposure to biological material and chemical safety shower/eyewash showers. Safety Shower/Eyewashes Safety showers and/or eyewashes are required in labs where chemical and biological materials are used. PPD is charged with testing the eyewashes and shower units. A log of those checks can be obtained by contacting your respective PPP (LC or MC). Chemical shower and eyewash shower station is located by the sink in the lab.

Section 6: The sharps materials will be kept in several places within the lab such as in the cell culture hoods, benchtops and storage shelves above the microscope in the cell culture hood room as well as the glassware storage cabinet on the opposite side of the lab.

Section 7: In the event that any glassware is broken containing chemical or biological agents, place the broken glassware in an appropriate sized hard plastic biohazard waste container. For a general minor spillage occurring in the open lab follow these instructions:
1. Alert people in immediate areas of the spill.
2. Don appropriate protective equipment.
3. Cover the spill with paper towels or other absorbent materials.
4. Carefully pour a freshly prepared 1:10 dilution of household bleach around the edges of the spill and into the spill. Avoid splashing. Allow 20 minute contact period.
5. Use paper towels to wipe up the spill, working from the edges into the center .
6. Clean spill area with fresh paper towels soaked in disinfectant.
7. Place paper towels into a biohazard bag for disposal.

A spill that is confined to the interior of the cell culture hood should present little or no hazard to personnel in the area. However, chemical disinfection procedures should be initiated at once while the cabinet ventilation system continues to operate to prevent escape of contaminants from the cabinet.
All Pasteur glass pipettes will be placed in a paper constructed biohazard disposal pouch within a white biohazard bag. All other non- hazardous pipettes will be collected and stored in a Nalgene hard plastic pipette jar and later autoclaved to be disposed of in the normal waste receptacle.

Section 8: To decontaminate when a spillage has occurred, spray or wipe walls, work surfaces, and equipment with a disinfectant. A disinfectant with a detergent (1% Alconox solution) has the advantage of detergent activity, which will help clean the surfaces by removing both dirt and microorganisms. Use sufficient disinfectant solution to ensure that the drain pans and catch basins below the work surface contain the disinfectant. Lift the front exhaust grill and tray and wipe all surfaces. Wipe the catch basin and drain the disinfectant into a container. To finalize the decontamination process, 70% ETOH should be applied to the spill area and also wiped clean with a towel. Discard all towels/spill pads and gloves into the biohazard container when completed.

Section 9: Separation and labeling of infectious biological waste (which may include red bagging, universal biohazard symbol, etc.) must be done at the point of generation. During collection, storage and transportation, all waste must be managed such that the integrity of the packaging is preserved and that rapid microbial growth and putrefaction is inhibited. Sharps containers should be rigid, impervious and puncture-resistant; plastic bags should be tear-resistant, leak-resistant and sturdy enough to withstand handling.
To dispose of any hazardous waste you must completely fill out a hazardous waste ticket for each container. Tickets must be filled out by the person who generates the waste, not a staff assistant or student employee who does not have knowledge of chemicals or has not been through the hazardous waste class. Tickets should be filled out as completely as possible.

One ticket should be filled out for each container. If you have a box of vials or small containers that are all of the same chemicals, then only one ticket is needed for the box. For different chemicals or biological waste, one ticket will be needed for each container.

Mail or bring the top or white copy of the hazardous waste ticket to the HMM office. Attach the other two copies (yellow and pink) by securely taping the pink copy to each container. Once the ticket is received it will be entered into the computer tracking system and HMM personnel will come to your area and pick up the waste. No waste materials will be picked up without a properly filled out hazardous waste ticket. The University is required by law to track its hazardous waste from the point it becomes a waste to its point of ultimate destruction. These tickets are our means of fulfilling this requirement.

Section 10: Materials Safety Data Sheets, MSDS, for all chemicals may be found on the following web address:

Section 11: Protocols

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