How to Ensure That You Handle Clinical Waste Properly
It's important to handle any form of waste properly as poor management can lead to health and environmental risks. It's even more important to handle clinical waste correctly, which is why there are strict regulations in place to ensure that this is the case. If you've just assumed responsibility for this important job at your place of work, how can you make sure that you are compliant with regulations and avoid any mistakes?
To begin with, ensure that the waste is segregated according to the universal, colour-coded guidelines. This should be done at the point of origin, and details can be found within documentation issued by the Department of Health.
Remember, the risk of infection is particularly high in any clinical environment, and you should ensure that any soft clinical waste can be disposed of easily. Have receptacles fitted with an automatic lid or foot control.
This waste should then be placed into clinical waste bags if necessary, while uncontaminated and 'neutral' items can be diverted into the general waste stream. These clinical waste bags should be handled carefully and never overfilled. Use as many bags as needed. If they are overfilled, there is a risk that they could burst. They may also be difficult to secure if they are too full and may be classified as overweight, which is also frowned upon.
It may fall to you to educate all other staff in your facility so they are familiar with the rules and never misstep. It's a good idea to conduct training and help ensure that wastage is kept to a minimum.
While on your property, clinical waste should be securely stored in a lockable room or cupboard. The waste should not be accessible at any time, and keep in mind that some troubled people may want to rummage through the waste to see if they can find any controlled items.
Each package will need to be identified to conform with proper management procedures. This is controlled waste, so it needs to be traced back to your facility in case of any issue.
Once your waste is collected, you will need proof of this. Clinical waste services will not pick up your waste unless you have supplied them with the correct paperwork, and you must not let the consignment leave without receiving the documentation in return. Cultivate a good relationship with these companies, and you shouldn't run into any problems along the way.