01   /   Introduction: OSHA and Medical Waste

When it comes to medical waste, it’s critical that you adhere to all the OSHA regulations that apply to your business. This creates a workplace that is safe from serious hazards that can cause a danger to employees.

02   /   What is Industrial Hygiene?

Industrial hygiene, also known as “occupational hygiene” or “workplace health,” came to fore in 1970 under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (along with the establishment of OSHA). It reads in part:

“The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) was passed to prevent workers from being killed or otherwise harmed at work. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers.”

 Thus, we have the practical science of industrial hygiene, an extant term since the beginning of the 20th century, and per the American Board of Industrial Hygiene, loosely defined as  “the science of protecting and enhancing the health and safety of people at work…”

More tightly defined, it’s all about eliminating risk or reducing it in work environments, including:


Harmful agents that workers might encounter


Toxicity of agents and their inherent ability to cause harm


Risk of any particular hazard happening

03   /   Industrial Hygiene in Healthcare Settings

When it comes to healthcare settings, there are additional layers of regulations to ensure worker safety. The goal here is to provide enhanced engineering and work practice controls to protect against the increased risks.

Some of the additional compliance requirements include initial staff accreditation and annual trainings; documented safety plans for emergency preparedness, exposure control, and more; and storage of safety data sheets.  

However, the burden is on the facility to ensure that compliance requirements are followed, and the consequence for non-compliance includes fines and potential liability.

There is a lot to account for, and one of the biggest challenges is even knowing what regulations exist for your business and keeping track of your progress—which is precisely where and how MCF can help you.

MCF offers customized OSHA training and compliance management support. Designed for hospitals, clinics, and other businesses that
generate hazardous and/or regulated medical waste, our online compliance hub makes it easy to train and accredit staff, perform safety audits, and build safety plans.

In addition, MCF Online Safety Audits can analyze your facilities to determine what jobs and workstations might be considered overly dangerous by OSHA inspectors: identifying and quantifying exposures to RMW, your hazmat handling methods, what risks these present to your employees, and recommendations for remediation.

04   /   The Upshot

Safety and health management systems proactively help employers find and fix workplace hazards before workers are hurt. Such systems have been proven to help reduce the personal, financial, and societal costs that workplace-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities impose.

OSHA requirements are vital to workplace health and safety. You want to discover and correct violations—real or perceived—before OSHA does.

Therefore, you need to assess your medical waste management program in order to assure overall workplace health and safety environments; improve patient safety; and reduce worker injuries, illnesses, or fatalities.

Getting expert advice is a proactive process to help employers find and fix workplace hazards before workers are hurt. 

For more information, contact us today. Or phone 866.315.8116

And thank you for reading our blog!

Robert Losurdo

President, COO