Tag Archives: bio medical wastes

Biological Waste Disposal for Surgery Centers

Biological Waste Disposal for Surgery Centers

5 Steps to Help Prevent the Spread of Disease in a Surgery Center

The recent Ebola breakout shocked the medical world. Not only because of the sheer number of people infected, but by the fact that medical personnel became infected as well. Improper handling of biological waste is one way in which any type of infection can be spread to workers in a surgery center.

The modern acceptance of outpatient surgeries has led to an added responsibility in small surgery centers. In order to help prevent the spread of an infectious disease found inside of organs, human tissue and blood being removed at a surgery center, these 5 steps should be followed at all times:

  1. Proper Hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment – Surgery center workers who are going to be exposed to infectious disease should be outfitted in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when performing procedures on patients. This includes the use of gloves, masks and special gowns that are disposed of after use. Removing these protective items must be done in a way that does not spread biological waste elements onto other clothing. Workers should also wash their hands with soap and water immediately after removing PPE in order to reduce the risk of spreading an infection.
  2. Ongoing Training of Staff – The continual reminder to surgery center employees about the importance of infection control is critical to mitigate the risk. Hold special training classes and keep surgeons informed of any new practices and policies that are put into place to better manage potentially infectious biological and pathological waste disposal.
  3. Partnering With a Reputable Medical Waste Disposal Company – The prompt removal of infectious biological waste will reduce the risk of contamination to workers in your surgery center. Enlist the help of a medical waste removal company that allows for a flexible schedule of pick-ups to ensure that you do not accumulate large amounts of infectious waste in your facility’s storage areas.
  4. Be Able to Identify the Different Categories of Medical Waste – A surgery center produces basic medical waste such as soiled linens, dressing and sharps, but you could also be generating pathological waste. Pathological waste includes organs, tissue, body parts and the products of conception. Talk with your disposal provider to enact a strategy for the safe and compliant removal of these items from your surgery center.
  5. Keep Biological Waste Away from Patient Areas – To avoid the spread of infection, biological waste should be contained in a receptacle that is clearly marked for its special purpose. Since non-medical individuals like patients will not understand the significance, it is important that these containers not be easily accessible in areas where patients are. To further reduce the risk of accidental contamination, the outsides of these containers should be kept impeccably clean at all times.

Medical Waste Disposal for Doctor’s Offices

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Medical Waste Disposal for Dental Offices

Medical Waste Disposal for Dental Offices

Knowledge and Standards in Operations are Critical for Controlling Medical Waste Disposal in a Dental Office

Dental care generates its own waste products, most of which can be disposed of as a part of your office trash removal program. Some products however cannot simply be thrown in the trash, and require specialized systems for their disposal. If you and your dental office employees are not aware of these items and proper methods for disposal, you are creating a health risk in your office.

There are two types of medical waste generated inside of a dental office; regulated medical waste and hazardous chemical waste. They both need to have their own system of labeling and disposal in order to meet OSHA and state safe handling guidelines. Failure to do so could result in fines for your dental office as well as the potential health risks to you, your staff and your patients.

Hazardous Waste in a Dental Office

There are a number of products being used in a typical dental office that are designated as hazardous waste. This includes:

  • The chemicals used to process X-rays
  • X-ray film
  • Acid etch
  • Disinfectants
  • Some Adhesives
  • Monomers
  • Lead foil, and
  • Amalgam

Amalgam is the most well known hazardous waste associated with dental offices. Since it does contain mercury its disposal is highly regulated on the state and federal level.

Creating an Effective Medical Waste Disposal Strategy in a Dental Office

The management of hazardous and medical waste is a time and money taxing process. Flaws in your current system must first be identified before changes in policy can be made to correct them. Yet the alternative to creating an effective medical waste disposal plan could be expensive fines and loss of business, deeming it a necessity in your dental office.

Substitution of hazardous materials is a good place to start, as there are alternatives readily available. For example, if your current sanitizing solutions fall under the hazardous material category, you can replace it with one that is just as effective without being harmful. X-ray chemicals in your dental office can be eliminated by switching to a digital radiograph system.

Another solution is to recycle certain dental by-products rather than dispose of them. Old crowns, lead foil and dental amalgam can all be recycled inside a proper facility for use in other applications.

Medical waste disposal for dental offices includes sharps such as needles used to administer anesthesia, and gauze that has been contaminated by blood and other bodily fluids. These need to be separated from other dental office trash and managed by a professional medical waste disposal company. Gloves, bibs, and gauze that does release blood when compressed also need to be disposed of in a manner where there is no chance of accidental bare handed contact by office staff or cleaning specialists.

Your local regulatory agency is your best source of information for the specific requirements of your dental office. Dental practices will generate at least one type of waste in their daily practices, but having clearing defined its proper handling with all staff will ensure that you are meeting all the guidelines for managing its disposal.

Bio Medical Waste Disposal

Bio-Medical Waste Disposal

The Role of OSHA in Bio-Medical Waste Disposal

Bio-medical waste disposal in all facilities is mostly regulated by the state, yet they are pressured by various federal agencies to stay in line with other guidelines. One such agency is OSHA, who look at bio-medical waste disposal from the perspective of your employees.

What Is OSHA?

OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration – is a part of the US Department of Labor established in 1970. The role of OSHA includes the assurance of safe and healthy working conditions in all fields of employment. They provide training, education and assistance to employers to help set and enforce standards that improve safety conditions. The top priority of OSHA is the employee, and the risk of injury or illness to them as a result of their job duties.

Under the OSHA standards, an employee has a right to work without risk of serious harm or injury. Or when working in a field where an imminent risk of harm is unavoidable, to have safety measures in place that help diminish it. They maintain these standards by scrutinizing all kinds of work environments, identifying hazards, and developing plans that remove or mitigate the risk.

Bio-Medical Waste Removal and OSHA

The reasons behind the safe and proper removal of bio-medical waste are not just related to the health of the public. They are also in place to ensure the safety and well-being of health care workers. A contaminated sharp for example puts the cleaning staff at risk if it is placed in a transport container that it could pierce through. OSHA is concerned about these types of threats, along with education of medical employees on the safe clean-up of medical waste in hospitals and clinics.

As a medical facility employer, it is your responsibility to observe bio-medical waste removal from various perspectives. To satisfy OSHA requirements, this would include taking a look at medical waste removal from the eyes of your employees. Walk with them through the steps involved in disposing of medical waste, and target any areas where you see a potential for contamination, exposure to infection, or injury.

Potential OSHA Violations in Medical Waste Disposal Practices

Medical hospitals, clinics, labs and doctor’s offices must provide employees with clothing that protects them from being exposed to contagious elements that may be found in medical waste. This includes masks, gloves and gowns that meet government standards. Remember to think beyond the nurses and doctors on staff, and consider office workers and cleaning crews who could also inadvertently be exposed to medical waste during their work day.

The proper disposal of bio-medical waste begins with its handling from the source. To make your facility compliant with all regulations set forth by OSHA and the local government, track the waste from start to finish, identify the potential risks and develop plans to eliminate them. This will protect you and your facility from excessive scrutiny, and keep your employees protected from potential harm.