All Points Medical Waste Blog

Medical Waste Disposal: Common Mistakes

Top Errors in the Disposal Process

A close-up photo of medical syringes and needles.We all make mistakes. But when it comes to medical waste disposal, errors can be dangerous to people, animals and the environment, not to mention cause your facility to incur violations and fines. Here’s a look at the most common mistakes that people make during the medical waste disposal process:

Incorrect Categorization or Mixing Types of Medical Waste

Medical waste must be disposed of properly according to its category. For example, according to regulations, non-hazardous and hazardous waste must be disposed of separately. If not, non-hazardous waste can be contaminated and become hazardous, increasing the odds of infection or illness and the cost of disposal. This error occurs frequently and can be avoided by ensuring your facility has proper signage and labeling of medical waste containers and that staff is trained on proper disposal for every category of waste generated.

Improper Disposal of Pharmaceutical Waste

Certain pharmaceutical waste can cause great harm, illness and even death if exposure occurs. Discarding unused pharmaceuticals or items used to administer medicines improperly is an error that is commonly made. Whether it’s medicines used to treat cancer or other illnesses, all pharmaceuticals must be properly disposed of according to federal and state guidelines.

Improper Sharps Disposal

Needlesticks are not only common, they’re dangerous. And a leading cause of needlestick accidents is improper disposal or storage. There are many regulations regarding sharps storage and disposal including ensuring you never overfill sharps containers and that containers are placed properly throughout your facility. These containers must never be in reach of children, and must be puncture, leak and spill proof.

Incorrect Biohazard Containers

If your facility generates biohazardous waste, which is very common in many different medical organizations, it’s crucial you store and dispose of it properly. You should have the correct red biohazard containers and an adequate amount of them in relation to how much waste you are generating. It’s not uncommon for physicians offices, clinics and other facilities to have less than is necessary, or to use containers that are not clearly marked with the biohazard symbol. This can put waste management professionals and your staff at risk.

Proper disposal of medical waste is a crucial facet to your business. It’s important that your staff understands the most common errors and how to avoid them. Doing so will help safeguard your team, your patients and the community.

All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated company located in Stuart, Florida. We provide full service medical waste disposal for businesses throughout South Florida from Okeechobee County to Broward County. Give us a call today or fill out this form to learn more.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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