Terrain has been a major factor in the development of the state of West Virginia. Karst topography is a landscape formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, gypsum and dolomite. West Virginia’s karstic topography has made it a unique region for recreational caving and scientific research; its karst lands cool the rivers to create excellent trout fishing. The development of its profuse natural resources, such as munitions from its saltpeter caves, limestone quarries, salt mining, and especially coal mining, have built not only industry and finance in the state, but also labor unions as a result of this rugged and dangerous work. Ecological and mining safety are still on the table today, as West Virginia exports its coal to the power plants of local states.The Appalachian Mountains rise and fall in West Virginia, where country roads do take you home, as famously sung about by John Denver. The Appalachian Trail, stretching from Georgia to Maine, passes through the state and mainly through the town of Harpers Ferry, the historic site of Civil War battles. Harpers Ferry was the site of John Brown’s raid. Brown was a radical in his day, an abolitionist who believed only armed insurrection would end black slavery. He led a raid against the federal armory there with a multi-racial group. Jailed, sentenced to treason and hung, the controversial Brown’s raid nevertheless had a profound emotional effect on the country and the start of the Civil War.Wild and wonderful, as its motto calls West Virginia, the state is almost entirely mountainous, among the oldest on earth, full of rich biodiversity and abundant for outdoor recreation. Though the state has struggled economically in recent years and faces challenges for its labor force, many of its people still refer to West Virginia as “almost heaven”.To help West Virginia stay wild and wonderful, the State’s Department of Health and Human Resources has an Infectious Medical Waste Program that manages medical waste and its disposal, to ensure the protection of public health, safety and welfare, and of the amazing environment in West Virginia.
West Virginia Medical Waste Disposal
Here, a classification defines infectious medical waste as medical waste which is capable of producing an infectious disease. Medical waste shall be considered capable of producing an infectious disease if it has been, or is likely to have been, contaminated by an organism likely to be pathogenic to healthy humans, if such organism is not routinely and freely available in the community, and such organism has a significant probability of being present in sufficient quantities and with sufficient virulence to transmit disease. Types of waste include:
- Cultures and stock of microorganisms and biologicals
- Blood and Blood Products
- Pathological Wastes
- Animal Carcasses, Body Parts, Bedding and Related Wastes
- Isolation Wastes
- Class 4 Viral Agents: Any residue or contaminated soil, water, or other debris resulting from the cleanup of a spill of any infectious medical waste; and Waste contaminated by or mixed with infectious medical waste.
For storage of medical waste, rules state in summary that it shall not be stored onsite for more than thirty days, shall be stored at or near the point of pickup or treatment in a manner that maintains the integrity of the containers (prevents leakage, provides protection from water, rain, and wind). The storage area shall be: constructed of easily cleanable, impermeable, durable materials, the floor shall not be carpeted or have open seams, and floor drains must discharge to a sanitary sewer disposal system. Storage areas must be kept clean and in good repair, have access control to prohibit unauthorized entry, and be posted with the international biohazard symbol.
Medical facilities have policies and procedures in place to ensure that medical wastes are properly handled, treated, and disposed of. As long as these systems are functioning properly, medical waste does not affect the public. The West Virginia Infectious Medical Waste Program performs inspections of transport vehicles used to haul waste in West Virginia, annual inspections of all of West Virginia’s large quantity generators (facilities generating in excess of fifty pounds of infectious medical waste per month), and monthly inspections of the treatment facility. These inspections assist facilities in ensuring that their procedures are operating correctly and provides a means to facilitate changes and updates to infectious medical waste procedures. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection also promotes compliance by providing assistance and/or enforcing regulatory requirements of hazardous waste generators and hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities. OHSA rules also impact various aspects of medical waste treatment, storage and disposal.
All of these government entities are performing the important function of overseeing and regulating compliance, in the best interests of public health and safety. Your health care facility is doing the same thing. Services that can assist you include medical waste disposal, biohazard removal, how to deal with sharps and expired RX pharmaceuticals, mail back programs for smaller facilities, and suites of safety compliance solutions, that include full-service training, tip, quick start and frequently asked question guides of diverse medical waste disposal topics, and infographics and advice about medical waste and its disposal, and how to save money and still get the job done thoroughly and safely. You will want your medical staff thoroughly trained on regulations compliance and daily operations. Protection is important, especially for insurance coverage and OHSA guidance, with easy accessibility to training certification, manifests, and compliance documentation. You will also want to get the services you sign up for. That means no hidden costs or fees, and customized service pricing that fits the needs of your health care facility, large, medium or small. Your choice of a medical waste disposal company in West Virginia is important, and will have a big impact on the quality of health care you provide to your customers. A dedicated MedPro Disposal professional is a phone call away, ready to answer your questions, and navigate the terrain of medical waste disposal management and operations with our friendly, convenient and comprehensive services.