The Best Practices for Safely Handling Biohazard Waste
The Best Practices for Safely Handling Biohazard Waste. Biohazardous waste needs to be disposed of and treated in a specific way. The handling, storage, and disposal of biohazardous waste is governed by local, state, and federal law. However, there are many ways you can make sure your biohazardous waste is handled safely. Some common mistakes people make when handling biohazardous waste include disposing of it in regular trash containers, storing it in unmarked containers, and not wearing protective gear like gloves and masks.
Biohazard waste is any material that has been contaminated by blood, saliva, other bodily fluids, secretions, or excretions from humans and animals. There are many ways biohazard waste can be generated. Some of the most common sources include hospitals/clinics, dental offices, veterinary clinics, tattoo parlors and more.
Regardless of where your biohazard waste comes from, it needs to be handled with care and disposed of properly so it does not injure the environment or people who may come in contact with it.
Follow these steps to ensure you handle your biohazard waste safely and responsibly:
Compliance and Training. Each facility will have its own set of training requirements and then there are federal requirements depending on the waste type and information one is expected to be exposed too. We have provided a quick reference list below.
Supply a list of the types of infectious wastes that could be generated
Train in the segregation, packaging, labeling, collection, storage, and transportation procedures for each waste type
Advise on pickup schedules and what to do if storage room is getting full
OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. This federal regulation applies to all employers whose employees have the potential to be exposed to blood and other potentially infectious material. This CFR is extensive and more can be found on OSHA’s website here. We have highlighted some quick points below.
Employers must provide bloodborne pathogens training, certification
The employer shall make available the hepatitis B vaccine at no cost to the employee
The employer shall have available at no cost to the employee proper PPE for the task being done
Each employer having an employee/s with occupational exposure shall establish a written Exposure Control Plan designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure
Each employer shall ensure that a copy of the Exposure Control Plan is accessible to employees
The Exposure Control Plan shall be reviewed and updated at least annually and whenever necessary to reflect new or modified tasks and procedures
Provide an explanation of the signs and labels and/or color-coding system
If you have multiple waste types in one generation area a poster or sign above the containers will help ensure proper segregation
Place the appropriate biohazard containers in generation areas
A simple example of this is a biohazard bag or box and a sharps container, they serve different purposes, but both are needed for proper segregation
Dispose of biohazard waste immediately after use, by the person who used it
This is to ensure someone else does not accidently come into contact with it
Remove containers and replace with new when two thirds full
Over filling biohazard containers is dangerous and increases the chance of accidental exposure
Identify the paths that will be taken when transporting biohazard waste in-house from generation points to storage rooms
This path should minimize exposure to public areas where possible
Healthcare Waste Management has been providing biohazard waste disposal services for decades and serves thousands of customers. Contact us today with any questions or for a quote in minutes.
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