How to Stay Safe When Handling Biohazard Waste

Even the term “biohazard” sounds intimidating. To handle biohazard waste requires you to know the regulations and best practices to ensure you and others are protected. Biohazard waste contains some type of ingredients or substances that make it hazardous to humans, animals or the environment.

Solid Biohazards

This category includes gloves, disposable flasks for cultures and waste items that have been contaminated with blood. These items must be stored in a container that doesn’t leak and includes a biohazard bag. It must have a lid and come with the symbol for biohazards. Always close the container unless you are putting a waste item inside.

Just like with liquid waste, solid biohazard waste must be stored in a second container. It should be kept in a waste container until the outside vendor picks up the waste.

Liquid Biohazards

You must use a container that is approved for biohazardous material. It will need to be labeled and be non-breakable. These containers should be stored in a second container that is leak-proof until disposal.

Liquid waste that has been treated may be disposed of down the sink. However, you will need to be dressed in appropriate gear to protect yourself from splash back.

Tissue Biohazards

Human and animal tissue must be handled correctly. It should be place in plastic bags and sealed. These bags should contain the symbol for biohazard material. All bags should be placed in a second container for disposal.

Sharps Biohazards

Sharps are considered biohazards, and they include needles, scalpels, glass and even sharp plastic. It may include medical equipment which contains sharps, such as syringes or collection sets.

Sharps must be placed in puncture resistant containers and the lid kept on when not in use. Don’t overfill the container but place it in a waste container supplied by the waste disposal vendor.

Waste disposal companies know which containers are appropriate for the various types of biohazardous waste. You can contact them to find out what storage containers you need to purchase to meet regulations. The company will also provide disposal containers where they will go to pick up waste on a regular basis.

Know how to handle and dispose of the various biohazard waste products to protect your staff and to prevent injury or the spread of diseases. Choose a vendor who is experienced in handling medical waste to ensure your organization stays in compliance.

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