6 Medical Waste Must-Dos

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Healthcare organizations have a responsibility to dispose of medical waste in a safe and secure manner. There’s little margin for error. A single misstep can cause major legal, financial, and human health consequences. Here are six must-dos for ensuring a secure and compliant medical waste disposal program:

1. Separate Medical Waste

Medical waste should never be combined. Instead, it should always be separated and placed in specialized and clearly marked containers. Red bags should always and only be used for the following items:
  • Bloody gauze, bandages, and gloves
  • Tubing with blood
  • Blood and bodily fluids
  • Sealed sharps containers

2. Medical Waste Labeling

Healthcare facilities that generate medical waste are responsible for properly packaging and storing it in labeled containers. Biohazardous waste must be labeled with the biohazard symbol, and sharps containers must be marked as such.

3. Waste Containment

The pathogens in medical waste pose a direct risk to human health. It should be contained in sealed and sturdy containers that prevent leaking during collection, transport, and disposal.

4. Safe Collection and Transport

Medical waste transporters must follow U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines and use specialized vehicles. The DOT requires a permit when transporting more than fifty pounds of medical waste, and numerous regulations must be adhered to when transporting and disposing of medical waste. These regulations make it imperative to partner with a permitted, experienced, and reputable medical waste transport provider.

5. Documentation

Healthcare organizations that fail to comply with DOT documentation and tracking requirements may be issued a citation. As a result, all collected medical waste should be accompanied by the following written information:
  • Date of transport
  • The quantity of waste transported
  • Name of a registered waste hauler

6. Employee Training

Employee awareness of your organization’s medical waste disposal policies is vital. Safety procedures should be posted throughout your facility. Conduct regular training and document any enforcement actions in the event you are asked to provide them during an OSHA inspection. Outsourcing your medical waste compliance training to a qualified partner helps ensure OSHA compliance for your organization and reduces its risk exposure.  To implement these initiatives or for a free compliance review, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page. Med Dog Waste Management, a division of American Document Securities, Inc., provides medical waste disposal services for businesses in Atlanta and Northeast Georgia.
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