Sharps injuries are wounds caused by sharp objects (needles, syringes, lancets, broken glass, etc.) that accidentally puncture the skin. Sharps injuries are an avoidable event that may place persons at risk for bloodborne infections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV).

If you experience a sharps injury, immediately follow these steps:

  • Wash the area with soap and water or hand sanitizer if soap and water is unavailable,
  • Immediately seek medical treatment,
  • Report incident to your supervisor if occurrence happens while at work.

Given the seriousness of a sharps-related injury disposal is important whether at home, work, traveling or in public places.

NEVER place loose sharps in a trash bin, a recycle bin, down a sink, or flush down a toilet.

Proper Disposal of Sharps:

  • Immediately place used sharps in a sharp disposal container
  • The Notre Dame Wellness Center Pharmacy has sharp disposal containers available for purchase
  • Arrange for sharps container disposal by completing a Biohazardous Waste Discard Form

Please remember improper disposal of sharps places the entire Notre Dame community at risk.


If you have any questions, please contact the Notre Dame Wellness Center Occupational Health Team at 631-2371 or Risk Management and Safety at 631-5037.

For information on handling sharps in laboratories, please see the Biosafety Manual, pages 13,18, and 19 on the RMS website.

Laboratory personnel can purchase sharps containers for labs through Grainger or other lab equipment supply companies.

If you are a faculty or staff member in need of a personal sharps disposal container, please contact the Walgreens Pharmacy at the Notre Dame Wellness Center at 271-5622.

Students who self-administer injectable medication should call University Health Services at 631-7497 to arrange for sharps disposal.