|FAQ - Regulatory Processes - Archived Through 2012
Does OSHA prohibit the passing of sharp instruments between assistant and operator?
OSHA does not specifically prohibit the passing of sharps, although it does require that engineering controls and safe work practices be in place.
The use of sharps with engineered safety features that reduce the risk of injury is an example of an engineering control. Announcing instrument passes and completing them with the sharp ends pointing away from both the passer and the receiver is an example of a work practice control.(1,2,3)
(1) OSAP Issue Focus: Needle and sharps safety.
(2) OSHA. Safety and Health Page for Needle Sticks. Available at http://www.osha-slc.gov/Publications/osha3161.pdf
(3) NIOSH. What every worker should know; how to protect yourself from needlestick injuries. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/2000-135.html.