On matters of sterilization and disinfection of equipment, OSHA defers to CDC guidelines. The applicable OSHA standard, OSHA 1910.1030(e)(2)(ii)(B) states that contaminated materials that are to be decontaminated at a site away from the work area shall be placed in a durable, leakproof, labeled or color-coded container that is closed before being removed from the work area.

Here’s what the CDC has to say on this subject: 

i. Minimize handling of loose contaminated instruments during transport to the instrument processing area. 

ii. Use work practice controls, (e.g. carry instruments in a covered container), to minimize exposure potential. 

Neither OSHA nor the CDC specifies the use of either cassettes or trays for holding contaminated instruments – technically you may use either (see CDC Infection Control Recommendations VI.D.3).

However, you should keep in mind the following when complying with this standard: 

i. Ensure the container is durable, leakproof, and enclosed. 

ii. Ensure the risk for sharps injury/exposure is minimized. 

iii. Ensure the instruments themselves are properly placed and potential for damage/lost instruments is minimized – trays and cassettes with rails do a good job of this. 

In summary, you may choose whether to use cassettes or trays for handling contaminated instruments provided you are complying with the above elements of the OSHA standard and CDC guidelines.

About Us:

At Gamma Compliance Solutions, we come to work every day because we want to solve the biggest problem in regulatory compliance: helping you make sure you have met all the requirements. Over the years, we have developed different compliance packages to suit practices at any stage in the OSHA and HIPAA compliance process. We have designated this area of our blog to post important updates and share key resources and guidelines you need to best protect your employees and yourselves. In addition to checking this area of our blog, follow us on social media to receive notifications when we share important information.