Are Your Medical Waste Disposal Systems Up to Speed on the New Guidelines?
Complying with medical waste disposal for surgery centers in California is complicated. On the one side you must meet the standards set forth by OSHA, and then you have the California Department Of Public Health on the other side making their own regulations. Last year, they published an updated version of the Medical Waste Management Act (MWMA), that some surgery centers are still not aware of.
To avoid fines and disruption in your surgery facility, it is imperative that you know what your new requirements for medical waste disposal are:
17630 – The Biohazard Bag
The red disposable bags used to transport most medical waste must be impervious to moisture and marked and certified by the manufacturer as having been able to pass the tests specified for tear resistance in the American Society for Testing Materials.
118275 – Pharmaceutical Waste
All non-radioactive pharmaceutical waste generated by your surgery center that are not subject to the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, and that are regulated as medical waste should be placed into a separate container marked clearly and saying “High Heat or Incineration Only”. This label should be on the lids and all sides so that the warning can be seen from any direction.
117665 – Highly Communicable Diseases
The term highly communicable disease will refer to any disease caused by organisms classified by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as risk group 3 organisms or higher.
117750 – Sharps Container
A sharps container must be a rigid puncture proof container that meets the standards of the US Food and Drug Administration as a medical device used to collect discard medical needles and other sharp materials. This box should at no time be lined with a plastic bag.
117975 – Treatment and Tracking Records
A surgery center that is required to register as a medical waste generator must maintain individual treatment and shipping documents of untreated medical waste that has been shipped offsite for a minimum of two years.
117967 – Onsite Treatment
An institution that treats medical waste on-site using steam sterilization, incineration, microwave technology or other approved methods shall train the operators of the equipment in how to use it properly. They also must be trained in the proper gear to wear and how to clean up any spills to ensure that the equipment is being used effectively. Annual training for those who operate the machinery must also be completed, and that training must be documented and kept on file for at least two years.
Having a reliable medical waste disposal company will ensure that your surgery center is up to date on the new system and procedure requirements, even if you are not. With expert advice on the best methods for proper waste disposal inside of your facility, and a professional team that can remove it, you should have no trouble in keeping your surgery center up to date and in compliance.