The Ramifications of Improper Biohazard Waste Disposal
In the past 40 years, the rules surrounding biohazard waste disposal have changed significantly. With people becoming more and more aware of the dangers associated with improperly disposed of medical waste, the laws regarding this disposal have become more precise and strict.
While there are legal implications related to not disposing of biohazard waste properly, there are also safety issues to understand. If you run a hospital, dentist office, doctor’s office, or even veterinarian clinic, it is essential that you learn about proper disposal methods and use this information to ensure your facility is compliant.
What is Bio-hazardous Waste?
Bio-hazardous waste is called many things. It may be referred to as “red bag waste,” or “regulated medical waste,” or any variation of this. Generally, this type of waste is made up of any type of solid waste generated during the diagnosis, production, treatment or testing processes. The items that most commonly fall under this umbrella include anything that has been contaminated with any type of biological material, including blood, or that may contain possibly infectious materials.
Legal Implications of Improper Hospital Waste Disposal
One of the most important reasons to handle biohazard waste disposal properly is because it is the law. It is a federal mandate that no bio-hazardous waste be improperly disposed of. This means you can never put the items in a trash can. Generally speaking, never put any bloody gowns, masks, gloves or gauze into the trash. These items have to be disposed of properly.
Another reason that proper hospital waste disposal is so important to your medical facility is the potential health risks associated with cases of improper disposal. Any type of bio-hazardous matter is going to be possibly infectious. If it winds up in the general stream of waste, without being treated by an autoclave first, then it is possible that someone may become ill or their health could be impacted if they come in contact with that waste.
The other safety concern is related to the proper disposal of hospital sharps containers. If you fail to place used sharps in a container that is puncture-resistant, then you may run the risk of someone getting stuck by these blood-contaminated scalpels, syringes or needles.
What Facilities do the Medical Waste Disposal Laws Apply To?
If you are in the medical field in any way, from surgeons and dentists to veterinarians, it is very likely that you produce biohazard waste material and are subject to health care waste management guidelines. If you are not sure what the laws are that regulate this waste, it is a good idea to find out. You don’t want to face the legal and health ramifications of not disposing of these materials properly.
If you discover that you need help with your biohazard waste disposal methods, it is a good idea to work with a company that understands the laws and proper procedures for disposing of waste. If you need more information about these services, or to find out how to ensure your facility is compliant with the laws, contact us today.