Sharps waste is typically found in controlled environments such as hospitals, clinical environments, laboratories, and training centres and, if handled correctly, poses a low threat to public health and safety. However, sharps are also found in areas such as unsecured vacant properties that have been compromised by vandals and squatters or anywhere that is at risk of being used by drug takers.
It is not uncommon in certain areas for drug users to leave behind sharps such as drug-related paraphernalia like needles, glass pipes, metal/foil, tubes, and syringes. These items present a very dangerous and real health hazard to the public and, if handled incorrectly, can be highly infectious with pathogens such as Hepatitis and HIV. Not only are they sharp but if they have been used they also carry fluids from bodies such as blood and can carry infections which can be passed on to you and other people.
It is also common for vandals and squatters to leave a less-threatening but nevertheless still a dangerous mess, such as broken glass within a property. This increases the risk of injury to a site clearance team.