Bio-Hazard Waste Disposal: The Risks of Improper Handling
Proper medical waste collection and disposal is an important part of the business when running a health facility. Unfortunately, too many health care professionals are not as aware as they should be about the dangers and risks associated with medical waste. It is important that management and staff are all educated on the risks and how to mitigate them. This goes for hospitals, vet offices, dentist offices, and even places like tattoo parlors. Here is a quick guide to the risks of improper bio-hazard waste disposal.
Legal Risks of Bio-Hazard Waste Disposal
Chances are, if you work at a medical clinic, you are not well-versed in the law. However, you probably should be, at least where it concerns medical waste collection. There are laws and regulations from all levels of government that apply to bio-hazard waste disposal. You must get familiar with these laws to make sure your facility is not subject to huge penalties and fines. Even if you are using a professional service, you need to understand the law to make sure that they are correctly following it. In the end, it is your facility that will be liable, not the medical waste collection service.
As we alluded to above, there can be some severe financial penalties for incorrectly handling medical waste. However, those penalties will not just come from fines. If someone is injured or gets sick, you may have to pay for treatment and other damages related to the injury. This may also involve legal fees related to court proceedings. Malpractice penalties can be enormous, and if your insurance does not fully cover you, you will be left on the hook for potentially millions of dollars. Improperly handling medical waste could quite literally ruin your business.
Risks to Your Staff and Patients
Medical waste that has been exposed to the public can be life-threatening to those who come in contact with it. There could be infectious substances, sharps, and even radioactive material. The fact is, many of these things could kill a patient or a staff member who handles it. The risk to human life should far outweigh the potential benefit of saving some time and money on skirting the rules regarding waste disposal.
The Risk to the Public
Not only can these materials be dangerous to the individuals who come to your clinic, but they can also be dangerous to the public-at-large and the environment. Sharps can end up in our waterways and in public dumps, posing the threat of injury. Infected blood can contaminate the soil, and pathogens can ruin drinking water. These things all put the community at risk and severely affect the health of the public and the environment.
Risks to Your Reputation
If you heard about a health clinic or medical facility disposing of their waste illegally, would you use their services? What if someone died as a result of this negligence? You probably would not. If your facility makes a mistake, it will have a massive impact on your reputation. If potential patients don’t feel safe, they simply will not come to your clinic or business. Not only that, but they will tell their friends not to use your clinic. Reputation can be everything for a public health organization, and it could be your downfall.
If you run a business or facility that generates medical waste, do not leave things to chance. Contact Mesharps for your medical waste collection needs. We will help you avoid the risk of improper bio-hazard waste disposal.