The Risks of Improper Bio-hazardous Waste Disposal

The public might take it for granted, but proper bio-hazardous waste disposal is vitally important. Surprisingly, there are many in the healthcare industry that have no idea how crucial it is to handle waste correctly. Many also don’t realize the risks involved if it is not done properly. Management and staff of every facility, from hospital, clinic, to dentist office, should have a strong grasp of the importance of properly handling medical waste. Here are the risks of improper bio-hazardous waste disposal.

 

Legal Risks

The fact is, working in a healthcare facility does not require a law degree. That means that there can be a lack of knowledge when it comes to what the law says about medical waste. Federal law clearly states that the facility that produces the hazardous materials is responsible for the waste. Even if the medical waste disposal services you’ve hired have made an error, ultimately the responsibility lies with the facility. That means that it’s vital to hire a reputable service to handle your waste, otherwise you can risk massive legal penalties and fines.

 

Financial Risks

The financial risks can go well beyond legal fines and penalties, however. If there is an illness outbreak or an injury to the public, then the facility may have to cover damages along with legal penalties. You could have medical malpractice insurance, but that does not always cover everything, and you may be left holding the bag. In the end, the legal penalties, fees, and payments to cover damage will add up to a big hit on your company’s pocketbook if you are not meticulous about proper biohazard waste disposal.

 

Risks To Staff And Patients

The life of your patients and staff could be at risk if everyone at your facility is not properly trained in bio-hazardous waste disposal procedures. Medical waste includes many things, from actual human waste to sharps that carry dangerous substances on their tips and in their vials. There could also be radioactive materials. Using the proper medical waste disposal services and having a well-trained staff can go a long way to mitigating those risks. This is not a case where someone might come into contact with something gross or unpleasant. These substances can absolutely kill someone. Your facility should do everything possible to not be the cause of this.

 

Risks To The Environment

Sadly, there are medical facilities that cut corners when it comes to bio-hazardous waste disposal to save money or to make things easier in their facilities. These underhanded companies are ignoring what an awful impact medical waste can have on the environment. Blood that ends up in a landfill can contaminate soil for miles surrounding it. Syringes end up in waterways and on beaches, killing plant and animal life. Drinking water can also be contaminated and create a health risk.

 

Reputational Risks

If you heard of a medical facility that did not dispose of its waste properly, and many people got sick, would you go there for your needs? Probably not. In fact, you would probably tell your family and friends about this facility as well and tell them to avoid it. If a healthcare facility loses its reputation, it will lose a lot of business.

 

Medical waste disposal is a serious matter that requires strict policy and attention to detail. There is simply too much at stake. Make sure your facility handles its waste disposal properly and ethically.