Clinical Waste Disposal Services
Clinical waste disposal management and services naturally come attached to a good deal of legislation to make sure that the waste is dealt with appropriately. Essentially clinical waste needs to be rendered safe and companies that provide a collection and disposal service are required to follow regulations that cover all parts of the clinical waste management process.
There are a large number of areas nowadays where a safe and licenced clinical waste disposal service is required including for: hospitals and other medical practices, nursing homes and children’s nurseries, dental and veterinary businesses, R & D establishments, even some beauticians, tattooists and funeral parlours.
All these practices and businesses need to dispose of what is termed clinical waste in the right manner subject to the current legislative framework. Waste can include biological matter such as blood or body fluids, swabs and dressings, dangerous substances such as drugs and potentially harmful equipment such as needles, syringes and sharp instruments. This also means that specialist containers have to be used including:
- Sharps Bins
- Disposal Stands and Bags
- Spillage Kits
- Rigid Airtight Containers
In general, all clinical waste needs specialist handling because of its potential to harm or infect people and there are stringent rules in place to make sure that organisations and business comply with this legislation. Not only do practices have to demonstrate the appropriate audit trails and compliance, it is also vital to use the services of a disposal company that is fully licenced and has trained staff to handle the waste.
There are four main regulatory areas that clinical waste disposal must comply with:
- The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (including the Duty of Care Regulations)
- The Controlled Waste Regulations 2012
- The Hazardous Waste Directive 2011
- The Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations
The first of these is the most important in that it stipulates organisations have a duty of care to properly dispose of dangerous waste that might cause harm to people or animals. That includes putting in place a clear audit trail with the applicable consignment note and a quarterly statement which lists all transactions and all of which needs to be accessible should the regulatory authorities need to investigate.
Choosing the Right Clinical Waste Disposal Service
All carriers and handlers of clinical waste must comply with the current regulations and are regularly checked out by authorities such as local councils and the environment agency to ensure they are not breaking the rules.
In order to be accepted by a clinical waste disposal service, an practice such as a GP or medical facility must have in place a clear pre-audit of what they produce before a contractual arrangement is begun. The organisation can do this themselves, or they can get a third party to do it for them. The benefit of this is that it gives contractors a clear idea of their responsibilities.
All producers of clinical waste have a duty of care to carry out this kind of audit and this includes for any waste that has been used at home by patients who have returned sealed containers to practices.
It is fairly difficult nowadays for a clinical waste disposal service to operate without oversight from local regulatory bodies but it pays to check out the company details online and make sure all the right processes such as creating an appropriate audit trail are in place. Choosing the wrong clinical waste disposal service can not only lead to large fines but could also mean criminal prosecutions.
You can check out clinical waste disposal services in your area here.