The Importance of Medical Waste Classification
Medical care is vital for the health and well being of our society, but the waste generated from medical procedures poses a problem for the natural world. Improper disposal and management of regulated medical waste in facilities can cause a direct health impact on the community, the healthcare workers, and the environment. Of course, prior to removal, it is imperative that facilities properly classify and store their medical waste until it is time for a medical waste removal company like MedXWaste, to properly dispose of it.
What are medical waste classifications and how can facilities implement a strategy for keeping waste organized? First, let’s define what constitutes medical waste. Regulated medical waste includes, but is not limited to:
- Infectious waste, such as bodily fluids, human or animal tissue, blood-soaked bandages, discarded surgical gloves, cultures, stocks, and swabs.
- Biohazardous waste, including sharps such as needles, syringes, lancets, scalpels, tubing and more.
Many states categorize waste into the following categories:
- Cultures and stocks
- Human blood, blood products
- Animal waste
Segregating medical waste and using properly marked containers is not only good practice, it’s safe and economical so that you can choose how and when, not to mention whom removes the waste for you.
It’s important to note that not all medical waste can be packaged together, so it’s imperative to separate waste into containers for compliance reasons.
OSHA requires that the following be marked and clearly labeled when it comes to classifying your medical waste:
- Contaminated sharps must be placed in containers that are puncture resistant, closeable, leak-proof, and labeled or color-coded
- Specimens of blood or other biohazardous materials are must be placed in a container that is labeled and color coded and closed prior to being stored, transported or shipped
- Labels must include the biohazard symbol, be fluorescent orange or orange-red, with lettering and symbols in contrasting color, and affixed as closely as possible to the container by adhesive or wire to prevent loss or removal.
MedXWaste can not only help you develop a program for your medical waste removal procedures through our online OSHA training program, but we also offer bins, red bags, and containers so that your medical waste is properly stored, segregated, and compliant until it is time to be disposed of.