December 21, 2018

Training Staff About Regulated Medical Waste

Importance of Regulated Medical Waste Training

Before health care staff interact with regulated medical waste, such as soiled items, needles and other sharp instruments, it’s important for them to receive training about the risks associated with medical waste and strategies for safely handling and disposing of it. Not only is this the right thing to do to ensure a safer, more healthful working environment, but it is also required by several states and regulatory bodies.

Understanding Medical Waste Disposal Regulations

State Regulations for Medical Waste

Different states have different regulations. While some require both orientation and annual refresher training, others don’t identify specific medical waste disposal training requirements. It is important to understand your state’s requirements and to make sure you have the appropriate training in place.

OSHA Medical Waste Training Guidelines

In addition to your state requirements, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires orientation and annual refresher training for staff members who deal with sharps and potentially infectious substances. This training should cover how to avoid inadvertent injury and mitigate the risk of transmitting bloodborne pathogens.

Department of Transportation Regulations

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) mandates training for employees packaging medical waste and offering it for shipping. Training should occur before the employee starts his or her job assignment as well as every three years thereafter.

Employee Training Documentation Requirements

In addition to understanding what training requirements apply to your organization, it is also essential to have written verification that training occurred. This should include the date of training, name and qualifications of trainer, subject of training, and printed name, job title, and signature of the employee.

Partner with a Medical Waste Industry Leader

To ensure your staff consistently receives the right training, it is beneficial to partner with an expert in regulated medical waste management. This resource can clearly outline the relevant training requirements and provide detailed training materials that highlight important issues and prepare your staff to handle their jobs effectively.

Stericycle can be your strategic waste management trainer, working with you to deliver up-to-date training. We can provide on-site offerings as well as online resources that staff can access anytime from anywhere. Our online tools also document when training is complete, so you can demonstrate that staff have received the necessary training should regulators come to call.

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