Whether you run a small rural clinic or a 500-bed hospital in Georgia, you need to abide by a number of overarching medical waste regulations. Outside state-specific regulations are those of the federal government. Your doctor’s office or hospital must follow the rules of both to maintain compliance. While requirements for medical waste management in a small doctor’s office are not the same as the scope as that of a large hospital, you should be aware of (and working with people who are aware of) potential similarities and differences.
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Hazardous waste removal processes involve numerous steps. One of the most crucial is how to select a proper and compliant hazardous waste container. This is not a one-size-fits-all process, as the right container for the job depends on factors that include the type of waste, its weight or volume, and its components.
Labels on hazardous material containers alert people in a clear, easy way about the dangers of that waste. If labels aren’t accurate—or are missing altogether—people have no way of knowing what they are handling.
If you work in an industry where you come in contact with patients or bodily fluids, it’s important to understand exactly what biohazardous waste is. However, it’s equally important to understand biohazardous waste regulations and the laws surrounding the handling, storage, transportation, and disposal of such material.
Without correct protocols and education, the medical field can be a dangerous place. This is especially true when it comes to the handling and disposal of syringes, needles, or scalpels, otherwise known as “sharps.” In addition to mindful handling during use, one extremely important step for the safety of everyone involved is safe and compliant sharps disposal.
The sterilization and treatment of medical waste before it’s dumped as garbage is an extremely important part of the medical waste management industry. Without the proper treatment, waste that is still dangerous—either hazardous or infectious—can end up in landfills. Learn more about the Autoclave process of treatment as it pertains to biomedical waste
The pecuniary penalties for mishandling biowaste, biohazard waste, or biomedical waste are substantial, not to mention a major distraction from your commitment to cure people and keep them healthy.
The waste management industry is highly regulated, but it’s also subject to both state and federal laws. This can make pinning down how to legally and safely deal with your waste a complicated, confusing process. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable waste management company who can address some of these questions is one way to minimize that confusion. One such common source of uncertainty that these companies frequently get asked about is whether a business requires a generator’s EPA identification number.
If you work in the medical field or manufacturing industry, you likely generate waste that needs to be containerized, shipped, and transported according to strict regulations. Whether it’s biomedical waste (red bag waste) or hazardous materials, this waste can’t simply be dumped in the garbage or down the drain. If you do deal with this waste in your profession and you contact a waste management company to help handle its proper treatment, consider the benefits of working with a full-service outfit.
If your doctor’s office or hospital is a fully functioning clinic, it’s very likely you periodically need to dispose of expired medications and biohazardous waste. However, it’s obviously not as easy as simply throwing this material away. There are some very specific regulations and restrictions regarding what kinds of medications get disposed of in what fashion. One common practice used by doctors’ offices and hospitals alike is simply putting expired medication in red bag waste. This is not the protocol for properly disposing of hazardous waste, though, and could lead to fines being levied against the facility.