Written by Laura Wakelam
14 Oct 2021

Creating A New Normal in Porter Safety

Facility Workers and Portering Staff are cleaning professionals on the front-lines in healthcare’s ongoing battle against Hospital Associated Infections (HAIs). In their efforts to reduce the environmental risks to patients while they stay in the hospital, Portering staff are exposed to daily risks including the handling and management of clinical waste. As a global partner specialising in safer healthcare waste management strategies, Sharpsmart provides an answer to how we can create a new normal that prioritises the safety of Portering staff. 



01 / Occupational Hazards to Portering Staff

02 / How Sharpsmart reduces those hazards

03 / Facility teams' need for reliable healthcare waste management partners

04 / The Sharpsmart Difference

Occupational Hazards to Portering Staff 

The role played by Facility Teams is often a physically, and often emotionally, demanding profession. How a hospital chooses to manage their clinical waste, and what partner or bins/bags/containers they choose for disposal, impacts their staff directly. If a facility chooses an unreliable healthcare waste management partner, their cleaning staff will experience one of the main occupational hazards that is often unspoken of - stress.

Stress in this role can be created by a variety of factors including:

  • Poor training on how to manage a facility’s clinical waste containers
  • Fear of being exposed to Bloodborne Pathogens while on duty
  • Overexertion 
  • Unreliable or unsafe equipment to store or maneuver clinical waste 


Other occupational hazard exposures include:

  • Chemical Hazards - the materials used to clean and sanitise a hospital may be toxic to staff if mishandled
  • Biological Hazards - such as the aforementioned exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens, infectious bacteria, etc.
  • Physical Hazards - this role can be labour-intensive, especially in regards to clinical waste management


How We Reduce Occupational Hazards 

Eliminating hand-tying of Clinical waste bags and unnecessary touches

Did you know the total number of touches when a healthcare worker is hand-tying a bag of biohazardous waste is up to 8 times?! That is 7 times too many chances for a Porter or hospital cleaner to gain an infection. Sharpsmart provides our partners with bagless, hands-free sharps, clinical waste and medication containers. 

Our solution specifically for Clinical waste is called the Clinismart

The Clinismart does not require bags or secondary packaging and can be securely locked when full, thereby reducing labour, cross-contamination and waste handling risks. 


Education on proper waste segregation

When facilities teams and porters are empowered with ongoing education and support on proper healthcare waste segregation - they actively reduce waste volumes, and in turn, the labour required. At Sharpsmart, our mission is not only to provide healthcare with the safest sharps and clinical waste containers in British Healthcare, but to empower frontline clinical staff with the knowledge and tools to enable them to segregate correctly. Across all healthcare facilities, but "en mass" in NHS hospitals and Trusts, Improper segregation of waste has an immediate impact: 

  • Compliance Breaches
  • Safety risks for frontline clinical staff unnecessarily exposed to higher risk waste 
  • Safety risks for porters and facilities teams in the handling of incorrectly disposed wastes 
  • Inflated costs in the over-categorization of waste 


Reduction of labour through lowered waste volumes

One way that Sharpsmart supports Facilities Management with labour reduction is by implementing smarter healthcare waste management systems that limit weight overrages and manual double-stacking f clinical waste bins. Like all NHS Hospitals and Trusts we partner with, we diligently map the "inside of the four walls" of a hospital - understanding what manual labour and movement is deployed to support the disposal of waste at a department and facility level. 

To support the safe movement of all Sharpsmart designed containers, we have an entire suite of...


Bulk Movement Accessories

We make waste move! To effectively minimise cross-contamination and labour, our bulk movement accessories enable Facilities Management to maneuver multiple sharps, pharmaceutical, cytotoxic and clinical waste containers at once between soiled utility rooms, patient areas and the loading dock. Multi-container movement and dock-level storage dramatically reduces labour hours required to stage containers for use or ready for transport 

Create a new normal of less laborious waste management by equipping your Facilities Management team with:


Robotically-sanitised containers

Cleaning professionals have a responsibility to ensure all surfaces in patient areas are clean - and that includes any clinical waste bins in patient areas. When Facilities Teams partner with Sharpsmart, the question of “who cleans the bin?” is eliminated.

Not only do we offer a solution in the form of mobilised waste containers that can easily be removed from the patient environment, but all our containers are robotically sanitised after reach fill. With our patented Washsmart technology, each container undergoes a 6-stage washing process that reaches a level of clinical hygiene 4x higher than required by national standards. 

This ticks off one of many key responsibilities of Porters and Facility Staff. 


Stress-free reliable supply chain

If your healthcare waste management partner or clinical waste container supplier is unreliable - your Facilities Team will face the brunt of any negative effects. 

It is essential for their safety that your supplier provides containers and disposal in a timely fashion. If all contracted services are not provided, Facilties Teams may be left with a dangerous amount of waste or a full soiled utility room. 

Sharpsmart has a closed-loop supply chain because we manufacture and provide our reusable waste containment systems locally. This means we eliminate the monthly purchase dependency for disposable sharps, clinical, cytotoxic, or pharmaceutical containers.

Through this ownership, we can guarantee no variability in servicing times or contracted frequency. We understand the stress that can happen when your facility doesn’t have the correct amount of clean containers or enough stock to meet waste influx - which is why we ensure you always have enough to avoid any challenges.


Need For A Reliable Partner


NHS Facilities Teams work in tandem with your healthcare waste management partner. We have the same goal - reduce the risk of cross-contamination and minimise overhandling of clinical waste throughout a facility.

Partnering with Sharpsmart means embracing a new normal that understands the hazards hospital porters face daily. With over 30 years of experience, we have built a comprehensive waste management model that:

  • Prevents service Interruptions - we come when you expect us to 
  • Communicates with your staff to anticipate any needs and create impactful shared goals
  • Respects the difficulty of daily tasks Facilities Teams are expected to achieve
  • Provides education on proper waste segregation practices
  • Prioritises the safety of your Porters and Cleaning Staff 


Experience the #SharpsmartDifference with a clinical trial

We understand that exploring change with another healthcare waste management provider can be daunting. This is why we offer departmental clinical trials.

A facility can experience the impact of our bulk movement accessories, waste segregation, and customised servicing frequency through a clinical trial in one, designated department. This exercise will demonstrate how our service and solutions compare to your current model that will continue in all other departments.

To inquire about a clinical trial, chat with us today.

Or if you are an Facilities Management professional and wish to have a more personal conversation about your unique challenges, speak to one of our clinical professionals for a consultation.


Facility Teams Solutions Hub



Header Style: 
Laura Wakelam

Laura Wakelam

Chief Marketing Officer

Brand and Communications Curator of Sharpsmart global group of companies, Laura is a strong believer in cause-driven brand identity and honest storytelling