Do I need A Certificate of Destruction For Medical Waste Disposal?
The short answer is maybe.
When it comes to medical waste, the answers to your question depends on first answering this one: what exactly are you disposing of? Whenever you create medical waste that requires special treatment before disposal, it is wise to be fully aware of the relevant legal requirements and best practices. It is always a possibility that written evidence of your waste having been legally and correctly disposed of could be necessary, especially in the event of an audit. So, as it is in most situations, it’s important to know what’s required of you and then follow those rules to the letter. This will minimize the potential for legal trouble and protect you and your organization.
Hazardous vs. Non-Hazardous
The main issue concerning medical waste disposal is whether or not it is considered hazardous. 85% of all medical waste is deemed non-hazardous and general. The other 15% is hazardous and may be either infectious, radioactive, or toxic. Hazardous waste includes sharps, infectious waste, radioactive, pathological, pharmaceutical and chemical. If you need to dispose of waste that fits into one of these categories, then improper handling, transport or disposal of said waste presents a serious liability for your organization. A certificate of destruction documents that you followed proper procedures and mitigates liability. The company you choose to do the dirty work should send you the proper documentation within 45 days.
State vs. Federal Destruction Laws
Another issue to consider is which laws apply to your business. Medical waste is regulated by the DOT, EPA, OSHA, and the DEA. It’s vital to be aware of all guidelines from each agency when preparing, transferring, and disposing of hazardous waste. States are required to follow the minimum federal mandates, but sometimes individual states create laws that are even more restrictive. Some states require proper certificates for destruction of any kind, not just hazardous waste. State health agencies and environmental programs have information about who governs healthcare waste in each state. If you are unsure of any of those laws, try asking your local medical waste facilities – they should know the laws of your state inside and out.
Find the Right Medical Waste Disposal Company
While following the proper laws is critical, the best way to make sure you’re covered is to find the right waste disposal company, one that will guarantee that their handling, transportation, destruction processes are fully compliant. Here are a couple of points to keep in mind when trying to find the perfect match for your business:
- Be wary of any company that doesn’t have the proper paperwork for any of their services on file and easily accessible. You don’t want to get caught in an audit situation without this information readily available.
- Any company you work with should be fully insured, licensed and compliant with any and all federal and state laws.
- Seek out a company that can do more than what you need right now. Whether you want to grow your business services or not, there are companies out there who can handle any and all types of destruction.
If you have any questions or are looking for a company that meets your needs, contact us at SecureMed LLC. We can help you figure out what you need and how we can help!