7 Medical Waste Facts You Will Be Surprised to Know
There is a lot of pressure in a doctor’s office to meet OSHA regulations, especially when it comes to waste management. Not only does following these rules keep you out of trouble, it is essential to the health of the general public. Knowing what rules and regulations apply to medical waste disposal for doctor’s offices can help with that, as well as ensure that you are always in compliance:
- OSHA Requirements are Not the Same in Every State – OSHA is a federal agency that oversees work place safety and procedures, but the state has the authority to establish their own requirements so long as they meet or exceed those set forth by OSHA.
- Your Doctor’s Office Has to Keep Copies of Medical Waste Disposal – You have to be provided with signed manifests from your medical waste disposal vendor and then keep those on file in case of an audit.
- You Must Review Your Medical Waste Disposal Procedures Annually – You have to evaluate new procedures and devices each year to see if there are safer and more effective alternatives for your office. This should be documented and kept in your medical waste disposal files.
- You Can’t Store Biohazardous Waste with Other Waste – There are strict rules about the storing of medical waste in your offices before it is picked up by a licensed vendor. Be sure to know where it can be placed and what it can be kept near in order to avoid problems with OSHA.
- All Medical Waste Must Be Properly Labeled – Your medical waste disposal company should be able to supply your doctor’s office with the correct labels for the different types of medical waste you deal with.
- Some Bio-Fluids Can Go Down the Drain – You can reduce the cost of medical waste disposal in your doctor’s office by knowing which fluids are acceptable to be flushed away in a drain.
- Some Blood Stained Products are Acceptable as Regular Garbage – Medical waste disposal procedures are mainly in place to stop the spread of contagious disease. You can save your office money in red bags by knowing what types of medical waste is acceptable for regular trash pick up.
In the state of California, the Medical Waste Management Program is overseen by the Environmental Management Branch. In addition to enforcing OSHA regulations, they regulate the generation, handling, storage, treatment and disposal of medical waste as per the state’s Medical Waste Management Act.
Health care providers and other medical offices should make themselves aware of the recommended procedures set forth by the Medical Waste Management Program in order to remain compliant. Inspections of medical facilities is not uncommon, even on the smaller scale, in order for the state to verify that the best interest of the public is being maintained.
Avoid getting your office into trouble by staying abreast of the medical waste disposal procedures for doctor’s offices, at the state and federal level. This not only helps avoid costly fines and extra training, it allows for an extra layer of protection against illness for California residents.