The All Points Blog

28 August 2017

Funeral Home Medical Waste: Safety dos and don’ts

The facts about funeral medical waste

As a professional who owns or works in a funeral home, you may not give medical waste a whole lot of thought. But the fact is, the proper disposal of bio hazardous waste will not only ensure that your organization is compliant with industry regulations, but also, that you are safeguarding yourself and your staff. Take a look at the top considerations for safely disposing of your medical waste:

Identifying the common types of funeral home waste

Managing your medical waste is easier when you take the time to identify the correct items as waste—and not just as garbage that could be tossed into a trash can. Some of the materials in your funeral home that should be classified as bio hazardous and disposed of as such are needles and other sharps, gauze and gowns that accompany the deceased to your facility and items that you use in the preparation room such as disposable gloves, gowns, scissors, scalpels gauze and tubing. All of these items can carry germs, tissue, blood and bodily fluids that can pose a health risk if discarded improperly.

What about other medical waste?

It’s not uncommon for certain items to accompany the deceased—including vials that contain chemotherapy drugs. Any drugs brought with the body and ports that are removed as part of the embalming process can cause injury and illness, even death to those who come in accidental contact. These materials need to be segmented and disposed of in a compliant biohazard container and picked up and managed by a service provider that’s certified and
well-versed in the industry. Other waste is so dangerous that it needs to be incinerated once it leaves your facility—and not disposed of with other materials. These include pathogens like blood and bodily fluids removed from the body, which must also be stored in leak-proof containers to prevent spillage.

Protecting your team

Another important aspect when it comes to funeral home waste is ensuring that your team is properly trained on all OSHA rules and regulations and follows the safety protocols you have in place. Wearing the required protective gear, including safety goggles, face masks, gloves, gowns and the right footwear is crucial and will guard them against exposure if a breach happens.

In the funeral home business, you have a huge responsibility to the loved ones of the deceased to take great care in preparing the body for burial. You also have a responsibility to remain vigilant in the safe disposal of medical and bio hazardous waste.

All Points Medical Waste can help you with all of your waste disposal needs. Our highly trained team will ensure that you’re equipped with the right containers and understand how to handle each type of waste to remain compliant and safe. We’ll be happy to work with you to create a service package and pick-up schedule that is tailored to your specific needs. Give us a call today at 772-283-4152 or fill out our online quote request form.