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BUSINESS POLICY LETTER

TO: All Members of the University Community 97:44
DATE: September 1997

Medical Waste Management Policy
(Supersedes 91:2)

  1. PURPOSE
    The purpose of this management plan is to establish procedures for the collection and disposal of medical wastes in order to safeguard the health of employees and students. The procedures are in compliance with the Medical Waste regulatory Act of Michigan, Part 138, sections 333.1101 to 333.25211 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
  2. EMPLOYEE AND STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY
    The procedures in this management plan shall be followed by any University employee or student who may generate or dispose of medical wastes as defined in this plan.
  3. DEFINITIONS
    1. "Medical waste" includes:
      1. Cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals, including laboratory waste, biological production wastes, discarded live and attenuated vaccines, culture dishes, and related devices.
      2. Liquid human and animal waste, including blood and blood products and body fluids, but not including urine or materials stained with blood or body fluids.
      3. Pathological waste.
      4. 4.Sharps.
      5. Contaminated wastes from animals that have been exposed to agents infectious to humans, these being primarily research animals.
    2. "Pathological waste" means human organs, tissues, products of conception, body parts other than teeth, and fluids removed by trauma or during surgery or autopsy or other medical procedure and not fixed in formaldehyde.
    3. "Sharps" means needles, syringes, scalpels, intravenous tubing with needles attached, and any other medical or laboratory instruments or glassware that might cause punctures or cuts.
  4. GENERAL PROCEDURES
    1. All medical wastes shall be packaged, contained and located in a manner that prevents and protects the waste from release at the facility or at any time before ultimate disposal.
    2. The categories of medical waste shall be separated at the point of origin into appropriate, properly labeled containers. Containers used to collect, transport, or store medical waste shall be clearly labeled with a biohazard symbol or with the words "medical waste" or "pathological waste" written in letters at least 1 inch high. Medical wastes shall not be compacted or mixed with other waste materials before decontamination or incineration and disposal. If decontaminated medical waste is mixed with other solid waste, the container must be clearly labeled to indicate that it contains decontaminated medical wastes.
    3. Medical waste stored in a generating facility shall be stored in such manner that putrefaction will not occur and infectious agents will not come in contact with the air or individuals.
    4. Medical waste shall not be stored outdoors or in any unsecured area but shall be stored in a secured area to prevent access to the waste by unauthorized individuals who are not responsible for disposal.
    5. Medical wastes shall not be stored on the premises of the producing department for more than 30 days.
  5. MANAGEMENT PLAN
    1. Types of medical wastes generated.
      1. School of Allied Health - needles, syringes, glassware, blood, body fluids, tissues, cultures, scalpels, and other laboratory wastes.
      2. Animal care - contaminated wastes from animals.
      3. Biology - needles, syringes, glassware, cultures, and blood products.
      4. Health Center - needles, syringes, scalpels, blood, blood products and saliva.
      5. Pharmacy - needles, syringes, scalpels, animal fluids and tissues.
    2. Segregation, packaging, labeling, collection and disposal procedures used.
      1. All sharps are placed in rigid, puncture-resistant containers that are appropriately labeled. The filled containers are autoclaved at the generation site and transported to a secure storage area prior to being incinerated.
      2. Contaminated animal wastes are placed in plastic bags and transported directly to the Animal Care facility for incineration.
      3. Minimal quantities of residue liquid wastes including blood, body and animal fluids are flushed down a sanitary sewer with large amounts of water. Larger quantities of liquid wastes are to be solidified, placed into secure storage and incinerated.
      4. Tissues, cultures, blood products and other laboratory wastes are placed in labeled plastic bags and autoclaved. After autoclaving, the bags are labeled to indicate they contain decontaminated medical wastes and placed into secure storage prior to incineration.
    3. Disposal of medical waste.
      1. All medical waste except for B.3 will be ultimately disposed of by incineration either on campus or by a licensed contractor.
      2. No medical waste will be disposed of by landfilling.
    4. Personnel protective measures.
      1. All disposable objects that may cause skin punctures or cuts are placed in rigid, puncture resistant containers.
      2. Disposable gloves are worn by personnel when handling medical waste.
      3. Medical wastes are placed in plastic bags that are labeled with a biohazard symbol or with the words "medical waste". The bags are closed and tied shut, and double bagged when there is a possibility of leakage due to the nature of the medical wastes.
      4. At the Health Center, puncture guard/sheath props are used to remove and replace needle sheath.
    5. Management responsibility.
      1. Each department generating medical waste shall designate an individual to oversee the handling of medical waste and assure compliance with this management plan.
      2. The Environmental Health and Safety Officer shall be responsible for the overall administration of this management plan and shall perform periodic inspections and surveys of medical waste handling procedures to assure compliance with the Medical Waste Act of Michigan and this management plan. The Environmental Health and Safety Office shall pick up medical wastes and provide secure storage until incineration disposal.

Richard P. Duffett,
Vice President for Administration and Finance
Contact: Physical Plant