Drugs and syringes have become such a problem in Starbucks bathrooms that the company is installing needle-disposal boxes

Drugs and syringes have become such a problem in Starbucks bathrooms that the company is installing needle-disposal boxes

This post, Drugs and syringes have become such a problem in Starbucks bathrooms that the company is installing needle-disposal boxes, first appeared on https://www.businessinsider.com.

Starbucks is installing boxes for safe disposal of syringes in the bathrooms of certain locations, following workers’ reports of discarded needles and sometimes concerning conditions.

The coffee giant is exploring remedies after employees expressed fears about being pricked by uncapped needles and experiencing related health risks. Starbucks is testing solutions, including installing sharps-disposal boxes, using heavier-duty trash bags to prevent needle pokes, and removing trash cans from certain bathrooms.

“These societal issues affect us all and can sometimes place our partners (employees) in scary situations, which is why we have protocols and resources in place to ensure our partners are out of harm’s way,” Starbucks representative Reggie Borges told Business Insider.

As of Wednesday, more than 3,700 people have signed a petition on Coworker.org, calling for Starbucks to place needle-disposal boxes in high-risk bathrooms.

However, other employees said they felt that the issues predated the new bathroom policy.

According to Wolfson-Stofko, there has been minimal research into how Starbucks’ new policy may have impacted bathrooms’ safety. More generally, he said that most bathroom policies — such as keeping doors locked or providing unlock codes on receipts — simply give workers an “illusion of control.”

“Even before Starbucks said anyone could use the bathroom, that was not deterring people who would inject drugs,” Wolfson-Stofko said.

The opioid epidemic continues to be a major issue across the country. More than 70,000 people died because of drug overdoses in the US in 2017, up 9.6% from 2016, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wolfson-Stofko said Starbucks’ efforts could help lead other companies to more directly address improperly discarded needles and worker safety. Seeing such a large company take action, he said, “will hopefully encourage other businesses to take employees’ concerns seriously.”


This post, Drugs and syringes have become such a problem in Starbucks bathrooms that the company is installing needle-disposal boxes, first appeared on https://www.businessinsider.com.
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