The little red medical waste disposal bags and red plastic containers located in the exam rooms of the family doctor, vet clinic, or dentist office are NOT for decoration. Although they may add a pop of color to the sterile environment, these red bags are specifically designed to hold biomedical waste and to help during identification and the disposal process. The red coloring also helps bring attention to those working in the facilities and easily lets them know that the bags and containers are “special” and should be treated with “special” attention.
Why such a big fuss over a little red bag? Here are three tips to help you manage your red bag, biomedical waste.
SEPARATE YOUR MEDICAL WASTE TO SAVE MONEY AND YOUR BUSINESS
When it comes to disposing of medical waste, simply tossing it with your other trash is a big “NO, NO.” Not only is it the law, but there are hefty fines enforced for being non-compliant. Fines for improper medical waste disposal often seem to pop up from nowhere and can be due to the smallest infraction. In fact, not separating your medical waste properly is one of the most common infractions and carries a steep fine.
Only biohazardous waste should be placed in red bags or red containers. Biohazardous waste is medical waste that is in a solid or liquid state and is contaminated with blood or other infectious material. Move red medical waste containers and bags away from regular trash bins. This will lessen the chance of medical waste being thrown in the regular trash can and vice versa. Not only can it save you from getting a high priced fine, but it can also cut down on the amount of non-medical waste going in the red bags and bins and ultimately save you money.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT MEDICAL WASTE CONTAINER FROM THE BEGINNING
When it comes to medical waste, there isn’t a “one size fits all” container. In fact, there are several things to consider and implement when deciding on medical waste containers.
1. Containers should be DOT-approved.
2. Containers should be the correct size for the waste.
3. Containers should be the correct material for the type of waste.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT SHARPS
Although sharps are small, they can cause a lot of damage if not disposed of properly. They can also rack up fines if anyone, including employees, gets stuck. Used sharps should be placed in a container that cannot easily be punctured and preferably one created specifically for sharps such as regulated plastic containers. It is also a good idea to empty or change out your container before it gets too full. Allowing the sharps bin to get full increases the chances of employees getting stuck. Sharps should also be closed or locked in a sharps container before they are placed in a red bag.
At ManageMed, we understand that it can be overwhelming to manage your medical waste. We offer OSHA training online to help keep your employees up-to-date on the proper way to handle sharps containers and sharps safety.
LET MANAGEMED HELP CREATE A MEDICAL WASTE DISPOSAL PLAN FOR YOU
Dealing with the disposal of sharps and biomedical waste is a part of many businesses and practices who deal such products. However, it doesn’t have to take over your business. With over 20 years of industry experience, ManageMed is able to work with clients from coast to coast. We understand the different laws, rules, and regulations governing biomedical waste and can help you put together a DOH Approved Biomedical Waste Plan that is customized for your facility.
Contact us today and start saving your practice time and money with ManageMed biomedical waste disposal services.