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Starbucks is installing needle-disposal boxes in bathrooms at locations across the country in response to complaints from employees overwhelmed by the number of improperly-discarded needles.
The boxes have now been placed in at least 25 US markets with more on the way this summer upon request by local district and store managers, according to Business Insider.
'We - Partners - Ways - Issues - Starbucks
'We are always working and listening to our partners on ways we can better support them when it comes to issues like these,' Starbucks representative Reggie Borges told the outlet.
Thousands of employees had signed a petition to place disposal receptacles in high-risk bathrooms as safety concerns mounted, fueled by America's opioid crisis.
Employee - Seattle - Starbucks - Box - BI
One employee at a Seattle Starbucks that recently installed a box told BI: 'I think the biggest and boldest move that Starbucks leaders can do right now is step aside from the potential political problems behind needle-disposal boxes in restrooms and give it a nationwide launch.
'We have had zero toilet clogs and zero needles found in an unsafe place since we had them installed last month. It's been really wonderful.'
Employees - Needles - Bathrooms - Paper - Towels
Employees say the needles are typically left in bathrooms wrapped in paper towels or sitting on top of the garbage.
The company provides training on how to safely take care of hypodermic needles and what to do when accidentally pricked.
'We - Spaces - Kit - Gloves - Tongs
'We are responsible for removing them from public spaces and placing them in a sharps-disposal kit, always with gloves if not with tongs. Less often, they are poking out of the bottom of the bag when changing,' the Seattle employee said.
Being stuck by a hypodermic needle can expose workers to HIV and hepatitis, requiring them to immediately visit a hospital or urgent-care unit for testing and treatment.
'It - Situation - Gloves
'It is a scary situation to see because we don't have needle-proof gloves...
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A pox on both their houses!