Despite health and safety regulations, cleaning can be a hazardous occupation, especially for operatives working in areas where there are sharps (needles and other sharp objects used to puncture the skin). Some areas are considered to be ‘safe’, such as health care settings and care homes, where there are strict rules about waste handling. However human error may occur so operatives should remain vigilant.
Other environments that cleaning operatives can expect to encounter this potential hazard include public toilets, rubbish bins and bags, and communal areas. Unfortunately, contaminated materials are sometimes even deliberately planted on hand rails, waste bins, or under tables placing operatives in a great deal of danger.