Tag Archives: osha medical waste

Medical Garbage Disposal and Management

Medical Garbage Disposal and Management

The 7 Easy Steps of Medical Garbage Management and Disposal

All healthcare facilities, regardless of their scope, that generates medical waste has a responsibility to dispose of that waste properly. Hospitals, clinics, physician offices, dental practices and more must adopt a system of packaging medical waste inside of labeled bags for transport. This may sound complicated at first, but once your employees have the 7 steps down, it will quickly become second nature in your facility:

  1. Set up medical garbage disposal containers in appropriate areas. Sharp boxes should be placed close to where needles and syringes are regularly used. Red bag containers that are corrugated boxes should be sealed on the bottom with packing tape. Those, or your plastic garbage bins, should be kept in an area where unauthorized individuals cannot easily access them.
  2. Use your red bags to line medical garbage containers. Red biohazard bags that are labeled must be placed inside of the containers. These should be large enough so that it extends the top with flaps that overlap the sides of the container. Be sure that the weight limit of the bag is in line with the amount of medical garbage expected to be generated in that area.
  3. Place only the acceptable medical garbage inside the containers. Red boxes are meant for sharps only, and your red bag containers for other medical waste. Ensure that employees are educated on other types of medical waste disposal procedures if your facility is dealing with pathological or chemotherapy waste, as these will be treated differently.
  4. When the container has reached its capacity, it is important that an individual trained in the transport of medical garbage remove it from the container wearing gloves. It should be gathered by the four sides of the bag that overlap the container. Those flaps should be twisted to seal the contents of the bag before being secured with a tie, tape or knot to prevent leaking.
  5. Check the markings on the bag to ensure they are labeled properly before applying the bar code label to the bag that is supplied by your medical garbage disposal service provider.
  6. Seal the tops of the containers used to collect the medical garbage. Clear packing tape can be used for boxes, while reusable containers will have enclosures in place to secure the lid.
  7. Transport the medical garbage to a secure location in your facility for pick-up by a licensed service provider. This area should be inaccessible to anyone who is not staffed at the facility.

Once your medical facility’s staff has gotten used to the procedures involved with medical garbage management, it will become second nature inside of your institution. Accept nothing less than full compliance with these policies from all employees, as they are critical in keeping your hospital or doctor’s office free from contagious disease.

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.