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Training For Biohazard Waste Disposal: Guidelines and Responsibilities

Posted on 04/08/2017 by Advanced Bio in Blog

biohazard waste disposal

When it comes to workplace dangers, few occupations can hold a candle to biohazard disposal. Medical janitors, crime scene workers, and others who have to handle human remains and waste carry out one of the nation’s most important duties, safeguarding the public from an array of potentially deadly health threats. Those same health threats, however, also put workers themselves at risk, which is why it is critical or them to have the training and equipment to stay safe while doing their jobs. In order to prepare workers to avoid risks and stay healthy on the job, training programs must include:

Biohazard Basics

The specific protocols for handling biohazards vary based on the type of waste being handled, but certain principles apply to all cleanup endeavors. These include:

  • Blood Removal Basics: Because blood is present at a wide variety of different cleanup sites, all waste disposal professionals must know how to deal with it effectively. This means understanding the specific procedures necessary to remove blood from a site, including cleaning it out of any nearby carpets and the underlying structures. Biohazard workers must also be aware of the many different types of pathogens that are present in human blood, as well as the procedures to avoid infection.
  • Safe Biohazard Storage: Sharps, solids, and other types of medical waste remain dangerous if not stored properly. Waste removal workers must know how to use biohazard bags and other waste containment devices properly.
  • Comprehensive Communication: Not only do biohazard disposal workers need to identify and safely dispose of common waste, but they need to explain exactly what it is they are disposing of to others. Training programs must teach them how to communicate the dangers of each site to coworkers and all others who might come into contact with it.

In addition to learning these skills, biohazard disposal workers also need to receive the vaccines necessary to protect themselves from common pathogens. Workers are required by law to be vaccinated for hepatitis B, and should also receive the tetanus vaccine, as tetanus is present at a myriad of different hazard sites.

Specialized Skills

Beyond the basics of disposal, waste removal workers should know the specific protocols for the particular biohazards and situations they handle. These can include:

  • Confined Space Training: This is necessary for workers who remove human remains from attics, closets, and other small spaces.
  • Tagout Training: Workers who specialize in industrial accidents must learn how to make sure that dangerous equipment is safely turned off, and will not begin running while they are in its path.
  • Fall Protection Training: Specialists who remove remains from elevated locations should know how to secure themselves against falling as they do their jobs.
  • Demolition Training: When biohazards are left to fester for an extensive period of time, they can contaminate the structures where they are located beyond the point of a successful cleanup. As a result, that structure will have to be demolished. Disposal workers who handle this type of situation must know how to tell when demolition is necessary and how to carry out such demolition quickly, safely, and comprehensively enough to eliminate the threat.

Biohazards are among the most serious occupational and public health threats, but with proper protocols, they can be contained safely and effectively. The better biohazard training is tailored to specific threats, the easier it will be for disposal workers to keep themselves and the public safe for the long haul.

Contact us today at 602-325-1580. Our team at Advanced Bio Solutions looks forward to being your partner in safety!