Medical waste disposal laws change often. Unless you make it your full time business, there will always be rules that you don’t know about. On the other hand, if you get audited, you will be held responsible for any breaches of the law even if you thought you would be in compliance. Hefty fines for non-compliance are never welcome.
The issue of transporting medical waste often gets overlooked and the auditors know that. Here are some guidelines to help you stay in compliance when preparing your medical wastes for disposal.
It is always a good idea to get regular updates and training from people who are in the medical waste management business. GIC Medical Disposal has dedicated people to assess your compliance level and train your staff on the latest regulations.
Medical Waste Disposal Compliance Issues Related To Transportation
Improper Packaging Of Waste
Hazardous medical waste must be transported in approved containers. Make sure you use rigid containers with a DOT stamp of approval on them. These containers are leak-proof, tamper-proof, spill-proof, puncture resistant and reusable.
DOT approved sharps waste disposal containers are made of thick plastic that cannot be punctured with needles, blades, scalpels, lancets, broken glass, or any other contaminated sharp objects commonly found in your medical clinic. If you get the right kind of sharps container, they are designed to be opened by robots, cleaned, disinfected and returned to you for reuse. This is a great way to meet safety standards and still save money.
Consider NOT Transporting Your Medical Waste To “Save Money”
Some people think they are saving money by not hiring a professional waste disposal company to transport their waste to a disposal facility.
There are two areas where you are likely to fall short:
1. You may need a permit to transport the medical waste unless it is less than fifty pounds
2. If you are transporting less than 50 pounds, it still needs to be packaged in approved DOT containers.
Applying for a permit is expensive and requires many hours of training classes. Regulations often change, so you will need to keep upgrading your training, in order to stay compliant.
Use The Correct Waste Disposal Container
As soon as you put the label “waste” on a container, a whole new set of regulations become applicable. Contact a compliant waste disposal company to make sure your container is suitable to transport the type of waste you are considering.
Consider Who Signs The Manifest For Transporting Medical Waste
The person signing off on the medical waste manifest must have the proper training. When the inspectors come for an audit, they will ask for the person who signed the manifest. They will ask about his / her training papers and details of the nature of the medical waste. They will also ask a series of questions regarding the waste, how it was packaged, transported and handled. If there is any lack in his / her authority on the subject, you are likely to get a citation.
Whoever signs the manifest for waste pickup must have had the proper DOT training and knowledge behind the medical waste.
Choose The Right Container For Each Type Of Waste
No one container is appropriate for all types of waste. Each kind of medical waste has to be categorized and packaged appropriately. You are not allowed to mix different categories of waste. The higher risk a type of infectious waste poses to humans, the higher standard of container you need.
It is a serious matter to violate government regulations around medical waste disposal. A violation of the law could cost you money, your job or worse yet, improper handling of hazardous waste can harm your coworkers, patients and even the general public.
Work closely with an established medical waste disposal company that is willing to provide their expertise to find the most cost efficient, safe, compliant way to handle your medical waste disposal.
Call GIC Medical Disposal for a quote or to discuss your needs in safely transporting your medical waste.