AUSTRALIAN STANDARD

AS4031-1992

(Amended 1996-08-05)

Non-reusable containers for the collection of sharp medical items used in health care areas.

Scope:

The Standard sets out requirements for non-reusable containers intended for the safe collection and transport of used sharp objects, which may be infectious, in health care areas, and are disposed of with their contents.

Note: – ‘Personal Use’ non-reusable sharps containers (i.e. a container holding the equivalent of ten 1 ml syringes), issued in needle exchange programs are not dealt with in AS4031/92.

Standard applies specifically to disposable containers used for the collection of sharp medical objects & waste (sharps only); i.e. single use hypodermic needles, scalpel blades, staples, lances etc. being devices which have sharp points or protuberances or cutting edges, capable of cutting or piercing the skin.

Ordinary Clinical Waste:

AS4031/92 is not prescriptive to containers which are used for the collection of other than sharp medical waste, including disarmed syringes (no sharps).

Basic Requirements for Sharps Collectors:

Collection containers must comply with AS4031/92 with regard to constituent material i.e. ecologically acceptable – will not produce emissions or residues on incineration or disposal (where appropriate) into landfill.  Other requirements include product & manufacturers identification marks, bio-hazard symbol (per AS1319), disposal instructions & safety advice, capacity indicator, fill-line warnings, assembly instructions, re-order numbers.  Information must be clearly printed in black on yellow.   Containers not identified as ‘sharps’ receptacles are intended to be used for ordinary medical waste.

IDC Medical ‘DISPOSAL SAFE’ Containers:

Are suitable for the disposal of common, and / or cytotoxic (where specified) medical waste.  Integral strength is achieved as a result of the seamless injection molded character of the design. – no seams which can split if the container is accidentally dropped.

Wall and base thicknesses of IDC containers more than exceed the AS4031/92 requirement for such products.

IDC containers are strong & dependable as to their designated & labeled usage. Manufactured from the finest ecologically acceptable materials (homopolymer polypropylene / polyethelene) in each case. The ‘Tiny’ and ‘Rigi-Box’ containers are for the collection of needles, lancets & blades only, for table top or carry case.

For ‘RE’ prefix containers two types of opening are available; 90mm (standard) and 125mm (easy access), both secured by ‘fingerguards’ with needle remover notch. Two types of quick action ‘Final Closures’ are available; 90mm and 125mm.

AS4031/92 prescribes physical tests for ‘sharps’ collection containers specific to;

  • Impact resistance
  • Resistance to penetration
  • Stability

IDC products have been subjected to independent testing by SGS (Societe Generale de Surveillance) – ‘Industrial Inspection Services’.  For additional information please contact IDC Customer Service.

Voluntary Standard:

Australian Standards are voluntary Standards unless codified in legislation by appropriate authorities, eg. Local government, State, Commonwealth.  A Standard cannot demand compliance by itself.

For further information about Australian Standard 4031-1992 go to www.standards.com.au.