All Points Medical Waste Blog
Top 8 Ways to Improve Waste Management & Compliance
What Every Medical Waste Generator Needs to Know
Hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices– no matter what size your facility is or how much medical waste you generate, managing your waste and remaining compliant can be challenging. It’s crucial to stay up-to-date with local, state and federal guidelines for waste storage and disposal to protect your organization from penalties and hefty fines. Here are 8 top ways to improve your waste management and compliance:
1. Proper Segregating and Minimizing Waste
A key factor to improving your medical waste management and compliance is ensuring that you are categorizing and segregating your waste properly. Disposing of waste improperly can result in several problems, not the least of which is cross contamination. Storing and disposing of waste properly can help minimize the amount that you are generating.
2. Educating and Training Your Staff
All employees must be trained and educated on all categories of medical waste, and how to safely handle, store and dispose of it. Regular training is crucial to ensuring that staff know the difference between regulated waste, hazardous waste and other categories. New employees and existing ones should have continuous training on medical waste as well as OSHA safety standards.
3. Implement Sustainable Waste Containers
Recyclable and reusable waste containers are not only more cost efficient and better for the environment, they save your facility money.
4. Circulate Safety Data Sheets
Safety data sheets are a critical element to your facility’s medical waste program. They provide key information about the chemicals used in your organization and how they must be handled, stored and disposed of. These data sheets should be readily available to all staff who are involved with or using chemicals.
5. Create An Emergency Readiness Plan
Keeping your staff, patients and visitors safe is an important part of your waste management and compliance program. Be sure you have an emergency readiness plan in place, that all staff are trained on all the steps they need to take in the event of a fire, an accidental waste spill or any other emergencies. Key staff members should be assigned leadership roles to put emergency plans into action and should have specific responsibilities, including notifying team members when emergencies occur. Fire drills, evacuation drills and other types of drills should be planned and implemented regularly.
6. Review Compliance Guidelines
Compliance guidelines outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) should be reviewed on a regular basis. By reviewing these guidelines and regulations, you’ll be assured you are staying on top of any changes and that you’ll be accessing the latest tools and resources to ensure compliance.
7. Perform Regular Audits on Waste Management & Disposal
Self-auditing is a key way to ensure that all departments in your facility are following the medical waste handling, storage and disposal protocols. Audits help discern how much waste is being generated, identity opportunities to reduce waste and potential cost savings.
8. Look for Opportunities to Recycle
Identify items that can be reused or recycled during self-audits. This could include plastics, glass, paper, computers, electronics and other materials in your facility. By recycling or reusing, you can cut costs and minimize waste that doesn’t require special handling.
Follow these tips to minimize waste and improve your medical waste program within your facility. When you reduce the amount of waste generated, you’re doing your part to decrease the waste that ends up in landfills–which ultimately benefits the earth, our communities, people and wildlife.
All Points Medical Waste can assist you by providing full service medical waste as well as help you maintain compliance within your organization. We’re a family-owned and operated company located in Stuart, Florida, serving hospitals, clinics, physician and dental practices, veterinarian offices and many other medical facilities throughout South Florida. Give us a call today or fill out this form to learn more.