The handling of HIW must be done with care and rigour.

Indeed, yellow boxes of all sizes are scattered throughout our laboratories and medical establishments. These are the DASRI collectors. They protect patients and staff from all infectious, chemical, toxic or radioactive risks. It is therefore essential to know how to handle them with care.

You certainly use them every day, but are you sure you are using them properly?

1. Assembling the collector correctly

For optimum use of the collector, care must be taken when assembling the lid and the collector tank. The hinge of the lid must be positioned on the same side as the handle of the tank. This is important especially when the collectors are positioned on the trolley supports. If the hinge and lid are reversed it makes it difficult to open and close the collector temporarily.

2. Activate the temporary closure

Each collector is equipped with a temporary closure (during use) and a permanent closure (before removal for storage). We therefore recommend that you always activate the temporary closure of the collector after each use, to prevent the contents from spilling out in case of a fall.

The permanent closure should be activated when the collector is filled or when it reaches its use-by date for transport. A “click” is heard when the closure is activated.

Never attempt to re-open a closed collector.

3. Respect the filling limit

Do not exceed the maximum filling level of the needling, sharp, objects collectors. This limit can be recognised by the black line at the top, at the front of the collector. As soon as the limit is reached, the collector/ drum must be closed and replaced.

Never force the waste in.

Replace the collector once the filling level has been reached or the storage time has expired.

4. Indicate the date of use

The duration of use of the packaging (between opening and closing) must be agreed internally. This choice must be made with the staff of the care services, the CLIN and the operational hygiene team.

Depending on the quantity of hazardous waste produced, the maximum authorised storage time is different. This period is calculated from the time the waste is produced and the time it is actually incinerated or disinfected.

The duration of use of the packaging (between its opening and closing) which has been decided by the establishment so as not to exceed the maximum storage time is therefore communicated to the users.

In order to respect this period, it is recommended to write down the date of putting into service of the collector/drum in order to easily know the date of the first waste.

5. Use a collector that is appropriate to the size of the waste and the volume of production

The volume of the collector must be adapted to the quantity of waste produced to ensure that it is evacuated as frequently as required by hygiene constraints.

If the collector or drum chosen is too large, the filling limit will never be reached and the collectors will be emptied half full. There is therefore a risk that the storage time will be exceeded in order to maximise the use of the container.

Conversely, a collector/drum that is too small for the purpose means that it has to be changed too quickly or that users can force waste into it and injure themselves in order to avoid frequent changes.

6. Have the container within reach and secure the containers to a stand

It is recommended to have a container within reach (i.e. less than 5 cm away) during treatment for immediate disposal of the soiled sharps after the procedure.

It is imperative that the containers remain visible and that they are not stored or transported in another package during use.

Special holders are available for the collector to be fixed to the trolley or to be placed on a bench.

7. Take particular care when filling and handling the manifolds

Never force needling and / or sharp objects into the collector, and never insert your fingers. The sharp side should always be inserted first. Do not remove needles from syringes or collection systems by hand, nor recap needles or trocars.

Proper handling of OPCTs and collectors can limit BSE (Blood Exposure Accident).

*sharps, sharp objects

LABELIANS distributes and implements DASRI in many hospital departments, we are happy to share our knowledge for your safety and that of your patients. You now know how to manage the handling of RHIW waste in your establishment. If you have encountered other errors in your career, you can share them in the comments.

>> Find out how to implement a range of HIW waste collectors <<