To understand why it’s so important to correctly clinical waste management in place, it helps to know what it is. Clinical Waste, or otherwise known as Medical waste is hazardous or harmful waste that cannot be disposed of in general waste. This waste is often produced in healthcare premises, such as hospitals, clinics, doctors offices, veterinary hospitals and labs.
The sort of products that are classed as chemical waste is usually medically related. The reason it’s something your business needs to think about it is that it can be anything from human or animal tissue to drugs, pharmaceutical products, or something as small as a swab or dressing.
The Dangers of Clinical Waste
Clinical waste management, if managed wrongly, can be harmful to the health of the surrounding environment, the general public and your reputation.
Improper disposal of clinical waste can lead to the spreading of serious infections, Even if you’ve left it in a secure location so that passersby can workers cannot get to it. There’s always the risk of animals and pests getting at your waste and spreading possibly deadly diseases around as well as said waste contaminating water supplies. Any waste that falls into the clinical waste category should be correctly bagged in a yellow bag and securely fastened.
Sharp waste, such as needles and scalpels should be placed in the correct colour coded sharps bin. This is to not only avoid physical harm to people but also the spread of infections from the substances found on the sharps themselves.
To clearly verify to those working in your business if they need to take further steps to become compliant with all regulations, we have outlined below the considerations you must undertake to ensure the safe disposal of clinical waste.
Clinical waste should be segregated at the point of production to ensure correct and safe disposal of all your waste streams.
Segregate your waste correctly on site, disposing only of clinical waste into your clinical waste bags.
Disposing of clinical waste costs a lot more for your organisation than disposing of general waste and uses more energy.
Make sure your clinical waste is disposed of into a foot-operated or automatic lidded unit.
This ensures you or your customers are not touching the lid with your hands and risking the spread of infection.
Do not overfill your clinical waste bags, leave enough space to tie them securely.
This is to ensure you do not risk the bag overflowing, items falling out or the bag splitting, risking the spread of contamination. Overfilled bags can be quite weighty too, which is a health and safety risk for those who will lift them.
Store all clinical waste safely and securely in a locked external wheelie bin.
This means it is out of the path of customers and staff and there is no risk of children or animals getting into it. Under your ‘Duty of Care,’ you must ensure your waste is stored safely and securely onsite until a member of our service team collects the waste.
Support colour-coding with waste segregation posters
Ensure your staff have constant reminders of the various waste streams you have on your site and how best to dispose of the following good waste segregation practice.
Carry out regular clinical waste training to ensure compliance, correct waste segregation, and waste minimisation, at your practice
This ensures everyone understands good waste segregation practice and has no excuse for not complying.