Hazardous Waste VS. Bio Hazardous Waste

Yes. The two terms sound similar. But hazardous waste is very different from bio-hazardous waste. Though they  both can be produced in a health care environment, Bio- hazardous waste is what you would typically find in a health care setting. It includes used syringes, razors, lancets and other devices that come in contact with bodily fluids. Both human and animal fluids. Hazardous waste on the other hand, is used to specifically refer to waste that waste deemed hazardous by the RCRA ACT. A waste would be deemed hazardous based on its level of re-activity. Some are hazardous since they are flammable, others are corrosive. These substances need to be handled, stored and disposed of in a very specific way. While there are great requirements for the disposal of bio-hazardous waste, hazardous waste requirements and regulations are certainly more stringent. This is certainly due to the danger posed by the mistreatment of hazardous wastes.  The disposal for hazardous waste is monitored and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Toxic Substance Control and other Federal, state and local bodies.


There is a lot of information out there about the proper disposal and treatment of medical waste, hazardous waste and other wastes. Treating waste correctly is very important for our way of living and also reflective of our general social attitudes.

Remember, MedWaste Management provides great medical waste and hazardous waste disposal and information pertaining to regulation. Give us a call! We are always happy to speak!

Getting Your Veterinary Office Ready for an OSHA Audit

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been increasing the number of audits performed each year, including those done at veterinary clinics and other medical institutions. These unannounced visits can mean big trouble in the form of fines if you are not properly prepared. This includes having a clear and efficient system of medical waste disposal in place, and practiced without fail.

It Starts With Staff Training

The medical waste disposal program you have initiated in your veterinary hospital is only as good as the workers you have put in place to take charge of it. Training is single most important way you can ensure that your OSHA inspection will go smoothly. This cannot be a one time event, you must be providing continuous training regularly to all workers who have contact with medical waste inside of your facility.

Working with a medical waste disposal company will help you to make sure that you are providing comprehensive on site training, and that the material offered is up to date with the latest standards set forth by OSHA.

Start by implementing a new employee orientation that covers the expectations and methods for medical waste disposal in your veterinary hospital. Also make sure that you are being given the latest news and updates from OSHA, and relaying that information to your employees immediately. The last step is to document all of the training taking place for when there is an audit of your facility.

Operate Like OSHA is Always Watching

Not allowing deviations from standards in the day to day operations ensures that none occur when OSHA is watching. This means having your own self inspections regularly, looking at the medical waste disposal methods with an objective eye. Correct even the slightest mishap on the spot so that your workers know what is always expected of them.

Put a staff member in charge of organizing the documents required by OSHA. This not only includes staff training reports, but manifests of medical waste disposal records showing the amount and types of medical waste picked up, and its final destination point.

Designate a Point Man

You should have one or two individuals designated to be the “tour guide” for an OSHA inspector. They will greet the inspector and accompany them as they make their way through your medical facility. Instruct them to take notes and even pictures of any violations the inspector finds so that you can be better prepared in the future. This person should show an active interest in the audit, and a willingness to comply with the regulations. Having the right individual fill this role can make a difference when it comes to receiving warnings versus fines.

If you are prepared ahead of time, then you should be able to breeze through any audit thrown at your clinic by the government. Just remember to keep your systems for medical waste disposal up to date, and your staff trained in the proper ways to follow those procedures to the end.

Are You Paying for Medical Waste Disposal Methods That Your Dental Office Doesn’t Need?

Like all health care providers, a dental office is obligated to manage their medical waste in compliance with local, state and federal laws. The regulations are very much alike, however there are certain distinctions that a dental provider should be aware of. Not only with the type of services you are providing, but with the size of your facility.

Your first step in regulated medical waste disposal for dental offices is the identification of the potential bio-hazardous waste you are generating. Once that has been separated from the common trash, you have to implement a plan for the safe disposal of contaminated sharps. Finally, the removal of medical waste has to be considered, for which you typically have three options:

  • Use a mail back medical waste disposal method
  • The use of a mail back sharp container system
  • Medical waste pick up from a licensed contractor

Mail back medical waste disposal strategies can work with a smaller dental practice, yet even then there are many flaws which could subject you to scrutiny and fines from various government agencies. The scope of your practice may produce various forms of biological and hazardous waste, all of which need to be segregated properly before shipment. On top of that is the issue of paperwork, and written proof that your medical waste was disposed of correctly in an approved facility.

Not only is this a risky practice for dental offices in terms of potential fines, it is a time consuming one. You must still train employees on the proper methods for the collection of medical waste, how to identify and segregate various forms, and then how to properly transport it out of the facility. Certain agencies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, will want to verify that such training is taking place inside of your dental office.

The third option, working with a licensed medical waste disposal company, can cover all of your obligations and save you time. MedWaste Management is able to not only train dental office employees, we study their activities to find effective solutions for collecting medical waste right where it is being generated. This includes the use of sharp containers and bio-hazard bags in a way that does not disrupt your routine patient care.

Not only can working with a medical waste disposal company save you money in potential fines, they save you valuable time. Companies like MedWaste Management will provide you with all of the necessary paperwork to prove compliance, alleviating you of this burdensome task. Without this mountain of paperwork to contend with, you’ll have more time on your hands to tend to patients and ensure quality health care.

With medical waste disposal for dental offices, the cheapest option is not always the most cost effective. You need to look at the entire scope of what is involved with proper medical waste disposal in order to make an informed choice on what is best for your dental practice.