There are no OSHA guidelines for medical waste pick up by medical waste companies. Medical waste transporters are regulated by state environmental agencies, and they should possess state medical waste transporting permits/licenses. Out-of-state transporters must possess licenses from each state they operate. They are also mandated to carry insurance-liability and pollution insurance for a minimum of a million dollars for each vehicle.
Permits and Insurance Documents:
It is important, as generators of medical wastes, that dental, healthcare, and veterinary facilities examine permit and insurance documents before they contract the medical waste pick up to transporters. This exercise is to eliminate any potential liability arising out of improper disposal. Clinics must request transporters to issue manifests at the time of pick up and after the destruction of wastes. OSHA may not examine these documents since it's not within their jurisdiction once the waste leave the facility. It shows a commitment that the facility disposes of its medical waste timely and properly.
Although OSHA does not stipulate any guidelines for medical waste pick up, OSHA according to paragraph (d)(4)(iii)(B) of the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, regulated waste shall be placed in containers which are:
(ii) Constructed to contain all contents and prevent leakage of fluids during handling, storage, transport or shipping;
(iii) Labeled or color-coded in accordance with paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this standard; and
(iv) Closed prior to removal to prevent spillage or protrusion of contents during handling, storage, transport, or shipping.
OSHA's bloodborne pathogen standard underscores the importance of worker protection from bloodborne pathogens. Labeling the waste container with a color-coded biohazard symbol ensures a high degree of safety for employees. Closable containers ensure that wastes are not spilled during storage and transport. Medical waste collection, transportation, and disposal are regulated by the Department of Transportation and state environmental agencies - these are two powerful agencies that closely monitor the operations of medical waste transporters. DOT and environmental agencies are licensed to inspect the transporters to find out how, where, and when the wastes have been disposed of.
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