Georgia Healthcare Providers Must Know these Important Medical Waste Regulations
In May of 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, Coca-Cola was invented by Dr. John S. Pemberton. The name “Coca-Cola” was suggested and penned by Dr. Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson. The flowing script of the logo is the same script that is famous today. Coca-Cola was first sold at a soda fountain in Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta by Willis Venable. So let’s take a few minutes to learn about the rules and regulations for medical waste disposal in the state that Coca-Cola calls home!
Classifications of Biomedical Waste
In Georgia, regulated medical waste is called “biomedical waste.” Biomedical waste includes pathological waste, biological waste, cultures, and stocks of infectious agents, contaminated animal carcasses, sharps, chemotherapy waste, and discarded medical equipment and parts. Generally, these regulations apply to anyone generating or handling biomedical waste. Some examples include clinics, blood banks, health departments, dental offices, funeral homes, and hospitals.
Types of Biomedical Waste
- Pathological waste
- Biological waste
- Cultures and stocks of infectious agents
- Contaminated animal carcasses, body parts, their bedding
- Trace chemotherapy waste
- Discarded medical equipment and parts
Biomedical Storage Requirements
According to Georgia state regulations, biomedical waste must be contained in a manner and location which provides protection from animals, rain, and wind, does not provide a breeding place or food source for insects and rodents, and minimizes exposure to the public. In addition, all biomedical waste must be stored in a container that is both leakproof and rigid (puncture-resistant for sharps). The container must also close securely before transportation. Containers must be labeled with the universal biohazard symbol and the word biohazard in a place that is readily visible from any lateral direction. Storage requirements for medical waste must be strictly adhered to at all times.
Georgia OSHA Regulations
There are Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations in the state of Georgia in addition to medical waste environmental regulations. Georgia is one of 26 states covered entirely by the federal OSHA program. Under this program, OSHA rules, such as Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Standards, impact various aspects of biomedical waste. This includes disposal of sharps, requirements for containers that hold or store biomedical waste, labeling of medical/infectious waste bags/containers, and employee OSHA training. For more information visit the page for OSHA Standards for Regulated Waste.