A look at Hawaii medical waste regulations.
The Department of Health manages and governs Hawaii medical waste disposal under the Division of Environmental Health. Like many of the states we’ve covered, Hawaii has an extensive list of rules and regulations, definitions, and storage processes for those who generate medical waste.
In “The Hawaii Rules for Management and Disposal of Infectious Waste,” the Department of Health defines infectious waste as “…any waste that may contain pathogens capable of causing an infectious disease…”
Infectious waste includes, but is not limited to:
- Infectious isolation waste
- Human pathological waste
- Contaminated sharps
- Animal waste
- Blood, blood products and other bodily fluids
Infectious waste, or medical waste, must be kept in a separate area from all other wastes; if contained in a bag, the bag must be leak-proof and tear-resistant. Sharps must be disposed of in a sharps container that is rigid and puncture-resistant.
The state of Hawaii follows federal laws in terms of treating medical waste.
Approved treatment methods include:
- Chemical disinfectants
The contents of the waste determine the method of treatment; blood, blood products, and bodily fluids, contaminated sharps, and animal waste must be treated by incineration, disinfection, and chemical sterilization.
In order to transport untreated medical waste, the state recommends that these are placed in non-soluble red plastic bags, or bags clearly marked with the universal biohazard symbol. Reusable crates and containers, bins and other containment materials must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each use. Transporters must have a biohazard symbol affixed to the vehicle carrying medical waste.
Hawaii is one of 24 states operating an approved occupational safety and health (OSHA) program. These rules stipulate the management of sharps, requirements for containers that hold or store medical/infectious waste, labeling of medical/infectious waste bags/containers, and employee training.
No matter the state, every single one will have facilities that generate medical waste: hospitals, clinics, medical offices, dental practices, laboratories, blood banks, veterinary hospitals, and medical research facilities. Medical Waste may be either non-infectious or infectious, but to be compliant and to mitigate risk, it is up to facilities to check not only federal laws, but state laws as well.
Learn more about other state medical waste requirements:
- Alabama Medical Waste Requirements
- Alaska Medical Waste Requirements
- Arkansas Medical Waste Requirements
- Arizona Medical Waste Requirements
- Connecticut Medical Waste Requirements
- Colorado Medical Waste Requirements
- Delaware Medical Waste Requirements
- Florida Medical Waste Requirements
- Georgia Medical Waste Requirements