In addition to the OSHA biohazard label, your healthcare facility also needs to follow the state regulations on medical waste disposal. These regulations are published by state health and environmental agencies. Typically, the OSHA biohazard label is printed on the container, indicating the proper place to dispose of the waste. You should also label sharps containers with a red warning label. Listed below are some other important OSHA biohazard label guidelines and information.
Laundry containers or bags containing contaminated laundry should have an alternate label or color-coding
When contaminating laundry, it is important to use containers and bags with alternate color-coding or labeling. These labels must include the Universal Precautions symbol or the word biohazard on them. If a color-coding system is not available, a label that specifies the type of contaminated laundry should be used. Laundry containers and bags should also be labeled in the facility’s color if possible.
For example, if a person is washing contaminated laundry with blood, the contaminated laundry should be bagged and contained in a separate container. During the rinsing process, a person should use caution as the blood may not be completely diluted. Using a different color-coding system can help prevent contamination. It is also helpful for employees to be aware of the contaminated laundry in the facility and how to dispose of it properly.
Pathological waste should be placed in a red bag
There are many reasons why pathological waste should be disposed of in a red biohazard bag. Listed below are some of the most common examples. The red bag must not be disposed of by municipal waste collectors and must be collected by a licensed medical waste contractor. Listed below are some ways to properly separate the waste from non-hazardous items.
Red pathological waste is regulated medical waste and must be disposed of by applicable state regulations. These regulations are usually published by state health and environmental agencies. Pathological waste in red bags must be transferred at least weekly. Moreover, lab waste in clear bags must be transferred once the bag is full and there is a noxious odor. Continued accumulation of pathological waste may present a biohazard to personnel.
Red biohazard bags are often used to dispose of regulated medical waste. They contain items that are susceptible to infection, including human blood, animal blood, plasma, and tissue. Bloody gauze, unfixed human tissues, and animal carcasses are also regulated medical waste. Similarly, any items that pierce the skin must be disposed of as pathological waste.
Sharps containers must have a warning label
The sharps container must be leak-proof, puncture-resistant, and contain a warning label. The warning label must include the universal biohazard symbol and the words “biohazard.” The sharps container must also be properly labeled. The sharps container must be labeled and stored in an authorized biohazard waste collection box or plastic tote. Proper labeling and disposal of sharps are essential for the safe management of biohazardous waste.
The FDA is responsible for regulating sharps containers and their contents. Manufacturers must submit a 510(k) form if they plan to sell sharps containers with accessories or tubing. Different designs and materials require separate 510(k) submissions. Sharps containers must not be manually opened or emptied, or cleaned in a way that exposes workers to percutaneous injuries. Further, the container must be able to hold sharps in a one-handed manner.
Signage must be posted on contaminated equipment
Every piece of contaminated equipment, such as a refrigerator, freezer, or blood storage unit, must bear a biohazard label. This label must be fluorescent orange or red with contrasting color lettering. If a refrigerator or freezer is not available, red bags or containers may be used in place of labels. Biohazard labels must be posted on contaminated equipment as well. It also states which parts of the equipment cannot be decontaminated.
As part of the OSHA requirements, the OSHA biohazard label must be posted in every room where potentially hazardous materials are handled. As a general rule, OSHA labels must be placed on contaminated equipment, as well as on any supplies or work surfaces where the hazardous substance was disposed of. The label must contain the name of the contaminated material and be easily accessible to workers. The label must also contain instructions on emergency procedures.