Disposal of Biohazardous Materials and Management of Exposure

Policy

Category: Health and Safety
Subject: Disposal of Biohazardous Materials and Management of Exposure
Division: Human Resources and Corporate Services
Policy Number: CA.56.01.108
Effective Date: November 1, 2015

POLICY STATEMENT

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for all employees. WDGPH will demonstrate this commitment by providing appropriate training and any physical, financial, and/or human resources necessary to reduce the risk of occupational exposures to biohazardous materials. WDGPH will implement the use of biohazard sharps containers, biohazard spill and other safe work practice controls as outline in procedure CA.56.02.108 Disposal of Biohazardous Materials and Management of Exposure, to ensure that all biohazardous materials are safely handled, used, cleaned and disposed of properly.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all employees who, in the course of their work, may be at risk for occupational exposure to biohazardous materials (blood, body fluids, spilled or loose sharps).

DEFINITIONS

Biohazard – a biologic agent or condition (such as an infectious organism) that constitutes a hazard to humans or the environment.¹

Biohazardous Materials – includes human or animal blood and/or body fluids.

Biohazard Spill Kit – a kit that contains all necessary personal protective equipment, supplies and instructions to safely manage, clean and disinfect blood, body fluid, and/or sharps spills.

Sharps – any sharp object used during care, treatment or diagnosis of patients that could cause an injury to the worker or another person.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Procedure: CA.56.02.108 Disposal of Biohazardous Materials and Management of Exposure
CA.56.01.111 Blood-borne Pathogen Exposure: Precautions, Safe Work Practices and Post Exposure
CA.56.01.113 Incident Reporting
¹Biohazard. 2014. In Medline Plus Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 10, 2014 from http://www.merriam-webster.com/medlineplus/biohazard

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Director, Community Health and Wellness

APPROVED BY

Director, Community Health and Wellness


Procedure

Category: Health and Safety
Subject: Disposal of Biohazardous Materials and Management of Exposure
Division: Human Resources and Corporate Services
Procedure Number: CA.56.02.108
Effective Date: November 16, 2015

PROCEDURE

Disposal of Biohazardous Waste and Sharp Containers
  1. All sharps waste must be placed into a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved puncture proof container (sharps container). Sharps include but are not limited to:
  • Needles;
  • Blades;
  • Vacutainers; and
  • HIV control panels.
  1. Sharps containers used in clinic rooms must be mounted on the wall in a locked cage or stored in a locked cupboard when employees are not present.
  2. All storage cupboards or rooms that contain sharps containers must be labelled with a “Biohazardous Waste” sign and kept under lock.
  3. Full sharps containers must be locked and marked “FULL” with a permanent pen/marker.
  4. Full sharps containers shall be placed in the disposable cardboard boxes marked “Biohazardous Waste” located at the Guelph, Fergus and Orangeville offices in the biohazardous waste room/location.
  5. The disposable cardboard boxes are labelled with a warning sign “Biohazardous Waste”.
  6. The disposable cardboard boxes are removed by an external company on a regular basis and new boxes provided. If additional service is required a request must be submitted to purchasing.
Transportation of Biohazardous Waste and Blood Specimens

Employees transporting biohazardous waste and blood/body specimens from off-site locations such as school clinics or other office locations (Shelburne or Palmerston) back to a designated generating facility (Guelph, Fergus and Orangeville offices) must ensure the following criteria are followed:

  1. All biohazardous materials must be transported by a WDGPH employee carrying a portable spill kit.
  2. The total weight of bio-hazardous waste/specimen containers must not exceed 5 kg/vehicle (a full sharps container weighs approximately 1 kg).
  3. A sharps container, partially full or full, must be transported in a plastic container that can be securely closed and labelled “Biohazardous Waste” (e.g. clear tote container with latch).
  4. Blood specimens must be placed in a Public Laboratory specimen plastic bag and then placed in a hard-sided cooler labelled “Biohazardous Waste”.
  5. All sharps containers/specimens must be transported in the trunk of the employee’s vehicle.  For cars that do not have a trunk (e.g. vans), the containers must be transported in the back portion of the vehicle.
Managing Biohazardous Exposures:

In the event of an employee’s involvement in a biohazardous exposure, they must use caution to prevent further exposure to themselves, other staff members and clients. They shall respond using the following steps:

  1. Call out for help as required.
  2. Provide the necessary first aid to employee/client if required (i.e. needle stick injury or fainting).
  3. Cordon off area where biohazardous exposure occurred.
  4. Obtain and use spill kit (Appendix A) as required and according to the type of exposure (i.e. fluid verses needle spill).
  5. Record exposure on CA.30.01.606 Accident/Near Miss Employee Report and notify management.
  6. Complete CA.30.01.607 Spill Kit Refill Form and send to the Vaccine Coordinator in the Guelph Office.
Blood/body fluid spills without sharps present (i.e. vomit)
  1. Remove any contaminated clothing.
  2. Wear gloves and safety goggles.
  3. Lay absorbent blue towel over exposure and allow it to absorb as much fluid as possible. Pick up towel and place in red disposal bag.
  4. Wipe area with disinfectant towel if area is very small or pour disinfectant on area and allow the disinfectant to sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Wipe area with disinfectant and clean paper towels and put in biohazard bag.
  6. Dispose of biohazard bag in tote bin located in Guelph, Fergus or Orangeville.
  7. If incident occurs offsite, items soaked with blood must be placed in an impervious plastic bag and disposed of in the same manner as regular waste.
Sharp spills with or without blood/body fluid present:
  1. Remove any contaminated clothing.
  2. Wear gloves and safety goggles
  3. Pick up any sharps, including broken glass, with forceps and place in sharps container.
  4. For large sharp spills wear puncture resistant gloves and use broom and dustpan to recover any shards of broken glass in contaminated liquid.
  5. Decontaminate forceps, broom and dust pan.
  6. Lay absorbent towel over exposure and allow it to absorb as much fluid as possible. Pick up towel and place in red disposal bag.
  7. Wipe area with disinfectant towel if area is very small or pour disinfectant on area and allow the disinfectant to sit for 30 minutes.
  8.  Wipe area with disinfectant and clean paper towels and put in biohazard bag.
  9. Dispose of biohazard bag in tote bin located in Guelph, Fergus or Orangeville.
  10. If incident occurs offsite, items soaked with blood must be placed in an impervious plastic bag and disposed of in the same manner as regular waste.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Policy:  CA.56.01.108 Disposal of Biohazardous Materials and Management of Exposure
Appendix A   Contents of Spill Kits
CA.30.01.606 (previously CA.30.01.102) Accident/Near Miss Employee Report
CA.30.01.607 Spill Kit Refill Form
CA.56.01.111 Blood-borne Pathogen Exposure: Precautions, Safe Work Practices, and Post Exposure
CA.56.01.113 Incident Reporting
CA.73.01.101 Mandatory Blood Testing Act

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Director, Community Health and Wellness

APPROVED BY

Director, Community Health and Wellness