Spring Cleaning: Medical Waste Removal Tips

Waste Containers in Operating RoomIt’s that time of the year when everyone focuses on conducting a good “Spring Cleaning”. Whether your looking to do a deep clean or just tidy up your medical office or workspace, its imperative you keep these cleaning tips in mind before throwing out your medical waste.

1) Tip #1 – Safety is the key, so only trained professionals should handle medical waste objects

Improper handling of discarded needles or sharps can be a major health risk to you and others. Its better to have OHSA trained  professionals remove these containers to prevent needle stick injuries or potential infections to workers or the public.

2) Tip #2 – Use the proper containers when discarding medical waste

As tempting as it is to throw waste into a simple garbage bags, this can be very dangerous. Janitors and workers who come into contact with this exposed waste are put into harms way when containers break open inside garbage trucks or needles are mistakenly sent to recycling facilities. Only used approved containers, usually marked with a biohazard symbol indicating they are for medical waste.

3) Tip #3 – Before you throw something away determine if its really “Medical Waste”

According to the Medical Waste tracking Act of 1988 medical waste is defined as “any solid waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or  testing of biologicals.” This definition includes, but is not limited to:

  • blood-soaked bandages
  • culture dishes and other glassware
  • discarded surgical gloves
  • discarded surgical instruments
  • discarded needles used to give shots or draw blood (e.g., medical sharps)
  • cultures, stocks, swabs used to inoculate cultures
  • removed body organs (e.g., tonsils, appendices, limbs)
  • discarded lancets

Still not sure or have additional questions? It’s always best to consult with trained professionals before moving forward. Call the highly recommended Universal Waste Management team at 855-27MYBIO toll free today.

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