In today’s world, healthcare providers are responsible for not just providing quality patient care but also for ensuring the safety of their staff, patients, and the environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established standards for workplace safety and medical waste disposal that all healthcare providers must meet to ensure a safe working environment. Let’s take a closer look at why OSHA training and medical waste disposal is so important.
OSHA Training Requirements
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires employers to provide a workplace free from known hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm. To meet these requirements, OSHA offers comprehensive training courses that cover topics such as chemical safety, personal protective equipment (PPE), hazard communication standards, fire protection systems, accident reporting requirements, and more. Every employee should complete an OSHA-approved course in order to understand how to protect themselves and their coworkers in the event of an emergency situation.
Medical Waste Disposal
Medical waste includes anything used in a healthcare setting that could potentially transmit disease—bandages, gloves, syringes, needles, blood vials—and must be disposed of properly to protect both workers and patients from potential contamination. Items contaminated with human blood or body fluids must be treated as infectious materials and placed in red biohazard bags before being sent off for incineration or autoclaving (the process of sterilizing items using heat). All other non-contaminated medical waste should be placed into yellow biohazard bags prior to proper disposal.
By investing in OSHA training courses for all employees and adhering to proper medical waste disposal practices, healthcare providers can help ensure a safe working environment for everyone involved. As a physician or healthcare practice manager, it is your responsibility to stay up-to-date on any new regulations or guidelines put forth by OSHA regarding workplace safety and medical waste disposal protocols. By doing so you will be able to create an environment where your staff feels safe while they provide quality care to your patients.