Waste Management – Process, Guidelines & Facts
Health Care Facilities must be committed to waste management principles. Waste management is implemented by the establishment of a waste management committee and the development and implementation of a Waste
Management Plan. The Generic Waste Management Plan provides supplementary detail and forms a practical tool to implement the Guidelines.
These Guidelines will assist managers and personnel of any facility to implement standards and comply with relevant legislation. Adoption and commitment by each facility through the establishment of a Waste Management Committee and adoption of a Waste Management Plan will assist the facility to manage their waste streams correctly, efficiently and effectively.
These Guidelines continue with the concepts of waste segregation into various waste streams, labeling and containment, handling, storage and transport, treatment / disposal, auditing, Occupational Health and Safety, training and legal requirements.
Health-care waste includes all the waste generated by health-care establishments, research facilities and laboratories, including health-care waste produced at home (dialyses, insulin injections etc.)
CATAGORIES OF HEALTH-CARE WASTE:
Infectious waste (containing pathogens, excreta, etc.)
Pathological waste (body parts, blood, foetuses, etc.)
Sharps (needles, infusion sets, broken glass, etc.)
Pharmaceutical waste (old medicines, etc.)
Genotoxic waste (cytostatic drugs, etc.)
Chemical waste (laboratory material, film developer, etc.)
Heavy metal waste (batteries, thermometers, etc.)
Pressurised containers (gas cartridges, etc.)
Radioactive waste (waste from radiotherapy, etc.)
Hospitals and public health care units are supposed to safeguard the health of the community. However, the waste produced by the medical care centers if disposed off improperly, can pose an even greater threat than the original disease themselves. In most of the cases there are no systematic approaches to medical waste disposal. Hospital wastes are simply mixed with the municipal waste in collecting bins at roadsides and disposed off similarly. Some waste is simply buried without any appropriate measure. While all the equipment necessary to ensure the proper management of hospital waste probably exists, the main issue lies in the staff who fails to prepare and implement an effective disposable policy.
In general disposable syringes and needles are also not disposed off properly. Some patients, who routinely use syringes at home, do not know how to dispose them off properly. They just throw them in a dustbin or other similar places, because they think that these practices are inexpensive, safe, and easy solution to dispose off a potentially dangerous waste item.
How does hospital waste affect us?
If hospital waste is not managed properly it proves to be harmful to the environment. It not only poses a threat to the employees working in the hospital, but also to the people surrounding that area Infectious waste can cause diseases like Hepatitis A & B, AIDS, Typhoid, Boils, etc.Many drug addicts also reuse the syringes that can cause AIDS and other dangerous and contagious diseases. If a syringe, previously used by an AIDS patient, is reused, it can affect the person using it. So, the hospital staff should dispose off the syringes properly, by …