Control measure knowledge

Medical personnel normally carry sharps cases. In their absence, signposting, removing or covering up sharps in such a way that they do not become a hidden hazard should be considered.

Consider that the casualty could be carrying personal medical equipment required to manage their health condition. Medical alert tags, bracelets or cards may provide an indication of this. Be alert to the potential presence of non-prescription sharps.

For further information, see National Operational Guidance: Operations - Manage risk from biological hazards

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that personnel are aware of the risks posed by contaminants such as body fluids and routes of entry

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Identify and isolate personal medical equipment that presents a risk to responders
  • Avoid handling sharps if possible and take precautions when it is necessary to handle sharps