Healthcare Facility Resolution: Prevent 10 Common Violations in 2018

Healthcare Facility Resolution: Prevent 10 Common Violations in 2018

It seems this time of year is when we take a fresh look at things and try to set goals to help achieve greater things in the New Year. In planning for this article, I was researching common OSHA/EPA violations, particularly in the healthcare sector. What jumped out at me was not the types of violations. These common, and avoidable, violations are the ones we always discuss. What jumped out at me was that you can find data spanning beyond the last decade telling all of us what the most common violations are and how to avoid them.

It would seem a New Year’s resolution might be needed in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities, to take stock of your current environmental program and look for common-sense and sustainable improvements. Taking action now will improve onsite safety, environmental stewardship, and reduce your regulatory liabilities. These easy fixes can also prevent you from receiving costly fines in 2018.

Ten Common Violations in Healthcare Facilities and Easy Solutions to Prevent Them

  1. Violation – Waste containers not properly labeled.
    Solutions – Implement signage that illustrates proper waste container labeling in waste storage areas of your healthcare facility, incorporate reviewing waste container labeling in your weekly inspections of the waste storage areas, have periodic employee training on proper waste container labeling requirements, limit the number of employees who are authorized to label waste containers.
  2. Violation – Waste containers not properly closed.
    Solutions – Implement signage that illustrates proper waste container closure requirements, incorporate reviewing waste container closure in your weekly inspections, have periodic employee training on proper waste container closure requirements.
  3. Violation – Healthcare waste containers not having proper markings and dates on them.
    Solutions – Markings and dates refer to identifying the waste type held within the container and when the container began containing waste. Implement signage that illustrates proper marking requirements, incorporate reviewing markings in your weekly inspections, have periodic employee training on proper marking/date requirements, limit the number of employees who are authorized to label waste containers.
  4. Violation – Employees not properly trained to work with hazardous materials and wastes.
    Solutions – Implement a training curriculum, or partner with a qualified vendor, that can provide onsite or online required training sessions for healthcare employees that are exposed to hazardous materials or wastes.
  5. Violation – Improper waste determinations.
    Solutions – Limit the number of employees that are authorized to create new waste profiles to only those employees qualified to do so, and partner with a qualified vendor that can help you properly identify waste types.
  6. Violation – Wastes not properly segregated.
    Solutions – Implement signage that illustrates proper waste segregation, incorporate reviewing waste segregation in your weekly inspections, have periodic employee training on proper waste segregation.
  7. Violation – Wastes not properly disposed of.
    Solutions – Implement signage that illustrates proper waste disposal methods, incorporate reviewing onsite waste disposal practices in your weekly inspections, have periodic employee training on proper waste disposal methods.
  8. Violation – Weekly inspections of waste storage areas not being done (for small and large quantity generators).
    Solutions – In an effort to minimize regulatory liabilities, and to keep employees safe and healthy, weekly inspections of waste storage areas are a good practice for any healthcare facility generating regulated wastes. Inspections should be documented to illustrate to the regulators the inspections are being done.
  9. Violation – Improper consolidation of wastes from other facilities.
    Solutions – Implement signage that illustrates proper waste consolidation methods, limit the number of employees involved in these activities to only trained employees, have periodic employee training on proper waste consolidation methods.
  10. Violation – Improper management of universal waste.
    Solutions – Light bulbs and batteries are commonplace in hospitals and clinics but also regulated wastes. Universal wastes should be managed with the same level of care and attention as other regulated wastes. Implement signage that illustrates proper universal waste management practices, incorporate reviewing universal waste management practices in your weekly inspections, have periodic employee training on proper universal waste management practices.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you achieve your environmental goals and make a difference this year, please consider having CES provide a free site assessment of your healthcare facility to discuss opportunities for improvement. Our experienced and professional team look forward to the opportunity to provide you with second-to-none service and competitively priced solutions.

By |2018-02-22T15:04:36+00:00February 16th, 2018|Categories: Healthcare|Comments Off on Healthcare Facility Resolution: Prevent 10 Common Violations in 2018