The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been increasing the number of audits performed each year, including those done at veterinary clinics and other medical institutions. These unannounced visits can mean big trouble in the form of fines if you are not properly prepared. This includes having a clear and efficient system of medical waste disposal in place, and practiced without fail.
It Starts With Staff Training
The medical waste disposal program you have initiated in your veterinary hospital is only as good as the workers you have put in place to take charge of it. Training is single most important way you can ensure that your OSHA inspection will go smoothly. This cannot be a one time event, you must be providing continuous training regularly to all workers who have contact with medical waste inside of your facility.
Working with a medical waste disposal company will help you to make sure that you are providing comprehensive on site training, and that the material offered is up to date with the latest standards set forth by OSHA.
Start by implementing a new employee orientation that covers the expectations and methods for medical waste disposal in your veterinary hospital. Also make sure that you are being given the latest news and updates from OSHA, and relaying that information to your employees immediately. The last step is to document all of the training taking place for when there is an audit of your facility.
Operate Like OSHA is Always Watching
Not allowing deviations from standards in the day to day operations ensures that none occur when OSHA is watching. This means having your own self inspections regularly, looking at the medical waste disposal methods with an objective eye. Correct even the slightest mishap on the spot so that your workers know what is always expected of them.
Put a staff member in charge of organizing the documents required by OSHA. This not only includes staff training reports, but manifests of medical waste disposal records showing the amount and types of medical waste picked up, and its final destination point.
Designate a Point Man
You should have one or two individuals designated to be the “tour guide” for an OSHA inspector. They will greet the inspector and accompany them as they make their way through your medical facility. Instruct them to take notes and even pictures of any violations the inspector finds so that you can be better prepared in the future. This person should show an active interest in the audit, and a willingness to comply with the regulations. Having the right individual fill this role can make a difference when it comes to receiving warnings versus fines.
If you are prepared ahead of time, then you should be able to breeze through any audit thrown at your clinic by the government. Just remember to keep your systems for medical waste disposal up to date, and your staff trained in the proper ways to follow those procedures to the end.