This study assessed voluntary compliance with the use of sharp safety devices in lieu of conventional ones and the activation status of these safety devices: VanishPoint syringes, Terumo Surshield butterflies, and Insyte Autoguard IV catheters. Sharps disposal containers from various wards in three private, not-for profit, university-affiliated Ontario hospitals were audited during 9 days in August 2007. In the 149 audited sharps containers, 55% of all syringes found were conventional compared with 45% that were safety syringes. In the three hospitals, the percentages of conventional (non-safety) vs. safety syringes found in used sharps containers were as follows, respectively: (i) 72% conventional and 28% safety, (ii) 55% conventional and 45% safety, and (iii) 65% conventional and 35% safety. In addition, it was found that 77% of 2131 Terumo butterflies, 97% of 1117 Insyte Autoguard IV catheters, and 87% of 4897 VanishPoint syringes in the containers had been activated. This study, carried out approximately 1 year before it was legally required to use safety instead of sharp conventional devices, found that most devices in use were conventional ones. It was also found that only the activation rate for the safety IV device was acceptable.