How to Properly Dispose of Biohazard Waste, A Guide for Healthcare Facilities
How to Properly Dispose of Biohazard Waste: A Guide for Healthcare Facilities. In the healthcare setting, biohazardous waste is a type of regulated medical waste that poses a risk to humans and animals if not disposed of correctly. Depending on the type of facility and services offered, biohazardous waste may include blood and fluids from wound dressing changes; laboratory specimens with blood or other bodily fluids; discarded surgical instruments; and contaminated animal carcasses.
When your company generates biohazards, there are state and federal regulations that require meeting strict regulatory guidelines for handling this type of medical waste. Because biohazardous waste poses a risk of infection if it isn’t handled properly, disposing of it properly is essential for ensuring staff, patient, and environmental safety. Here, we’ll explore everything you need to know about how to dispose of biohazard waste in your healthcare facility so that you have peace of mind knowing it’s being handled by trained professionals who follow best practices.
What Is Biohazardous Waste?
Biohazardous waste, also called infectious waste (such as blood, body fluids, and human cell lines), or regulated medical waste, is waste contaminated with potentially infectious agents or other materials that are deemed a threat to public health or the environment. Biohazardous waste is a regulated type of medical waste that poses a risk to humans and animals if not handled correctly. It is often contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids, and can be generated in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, doctors’ offices, veterinary clinics, blood banks, and other healthcare and non-healthcare settings. Biohazard waste is regulated because it poses a risk of infection if it’s handled improperly.
Why is Disposing of Biohazardous Waste Important?
The handling and disposal of biohazardous waste must be done properly to prevent infection of personnel (laboratory workers, custodians, laboratory visitors, etc.) and to prevent release to the environment. OSHA and state regulations mandate that biohazardous waste be properly labeled, stored, and disposed. Improperly disposing of biohazardous waste has resulted in negative media attention and regulatory action in some instances. Thus, the handling and disposal of biohazardous waste has critical consequences regarding environmental health and safety, regulatory compliance, legal liability, and public opinion.
Biohazardous waste must be handled, stored, and disposed to ensure the safety of healthcare workers, staff, and the environment. It can potentially cause harm to humans or animals if it is improperly discarded. When not disposed of correctly, biohazard waste can also cause harm to the environment.
Types of Biohazardous Waste
Biohazardous waste exists in many different forms some common healthcare examples of biohazard waste include.
Sharps waste is a form of biomedical waste composed of used “sharps”, which includes any device or object that can puncture or lacerate the skin.
Human blood and blood products that have been contaminated with blood or other body fluids or tissues.
Animal carcasses and body parts, or any bedding that animals that are known to be infected with pathogenic organisms use.
Pathological wastes. Unfixed human tissue, biopsy materials, and anatomical parts from surgical procedures or autopsies are included.
Human body fluids include semen, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, vaginal secretions, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva, and peritoneal fluid.
Medical laboratories often generate microbiological wastes, including specimen cultures, discarded viruses, and devices for transferring or mixing cultures.
How to Properly Seal and Package Biohazardous Waste for Transport?
A biohazardous waste container that is full should be sealed at that time and made ready for transportation. When the bag is full it needs to be tied in a knot using the overhand or gooseneck method, sealing with tape as required (gooseneck method). Securely fasten the lid on the medical waste container. Last, apply customer label. Your biohazard waste container is now ready for your medical waste disposal company to pick it up.
Who Disposes of Biohazardous Waste?
Biohazardous waste is typically disposed of by a licensed commercial medical waste management company. Medical Waste Companies are specially trained to handle, transport, treat, and dispose of biohazardous waste. When looking for a medical waste management company you will want to make sure the company owns a medical waste processing plant, any company that does not have their own treatment plant means they must pay another company to treat your medical waste to be non-infectious. This can have an affect on the price you pay and could cause headaches or delays in paperwork.
Here at Bio-MED we directly hire and train our employees, we have a fleet of service trucks to meet our customers needs, including an all-electric medical waste service truck reducing our footprint even further. We own and operate our own medical waste processing plant and shredder to be able to provide you with the best possible service at the best prices.
If you have any questions on How to Properly Dispose of Biohazard Waste? Contact Bio-MED today with any questions you may have or for a free quote. Experience the Bio-MED difference today!