Is your facility guilty of these common medical waste violations?
Despite the abundance of information on proper medical waste disposal and the laws that back this up, there are still some common violations that people make with medical waste removal. Not only is this a compliance issue, it’s an environmental and health issue that can be costly and detrimental if ignored.
What are some of the top medical waste violations?
Inconsistent training of staff
A compliant, safe, and efficient medical waste removal program is only as strong as the people who implement and follow it. It is imperative that facilities employ the use of the resources available, not only because it’s the law, but a streamlined program mitigates risk. Agencies like the EPA and OSHA offer resources for medical waste producers to help prepare a training program that will ensure the safety of workers, as well as decrease the chances of infection and contamination.
Red Bags can help you develop a program for proper and compliant medical waste removal through our OSHA training program.
Improper labeling of medical waste and biohazardous waste containers
Medical waste packaging and labeling in a facility that deals with regulated medical waste is the responsibility of the facility itself. Packaging includes sharps containers, biohazard containers, plastic bags, and reusable containers. Failure to comply with safe containment is both an environmental issue and community health issue, one that can comes with hefty fines.
Many states categorize waste into sub-categorizes, such as cultures and stocks, human blood, blood products, sharps, and animal waste. Keeping types of medical waste separate and using properly marked containers is not only mandated by law, it helps you choose how and when, not to mention whom removes the waste for you.
Failing to plan
Every facility that produces medical waste must have a medical waste removal plan. Plans should reduce the amount of waste, ensure regulatory compliance, and strengthen infection control procedures. Not having a plan leads to discarding mistakes and risking the spread of infection.
Mishandling of medical waste and removal
Whoever signs the manifest for waste pickup must have had the proper OSHA/DOT training and knowledge behind the medical waste. If your average Joe signs for anything that involves medical waste, your facility will receive a citation for noncompliance.
Hazardous waste requires special handling, disposal, and storage. Both the EPA and DOT have requirements that must be met in order to properly store and dispose of waste. Failure to post signage about restricted areas, hazardous containers, or infection control can put staff and patients at serious risk.
Failure to comply with government-mandated medical waste regulations can be a confusing and costly experience. Let Red Bags take the guesswork out of it for you. Contact us today.
Additional resources to help you avoid common medical waste violations & stay compliant:
- Choosing the Right Sharps Containers for Your Facility
- Improper Medical Waste Packaging: What You Need To Know
- What Is NOT Considered Medical Waste?
- Do I Need An OSHA Certification?