Reader Question: An employee recently visited my office to complain that they found used needles in the trash at the office. After investigating the situation, we found the needles were being used by an employee who needed to take insulin. What steps do we need to take as an employer to ensure we are handling the situation appropriately?
– HR Manager, Information Technology Organization
Once you discover who is doing this, you need to privately discuss the matter with the employee. They need to understand that it is their responsibility to safely dispose of any needles and that placing the needles in the garbage is dangerous and unacceptable as a practice. Be careful about your HIPAA obligations here when it comes to maintaining privacy, but the matter does need immediate action.