Managing Hazardous Materials
The rules that apply to managing hazardous materials inside
your facility are mainly concerned with protecting employees who need to work
with the materials, as well as patients and visitors who could be affected
by the materials. The general framework for the rules is largely established
by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA), the federal agency concerned with worker safety.
Once materials have been used, they may fall into the "hazardous
waste" category and must then comply with another set of rules (RCRA),
established by a different federal agency, the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). See the HERC Hazardous Materials -- Overview and Hazardous
Waste Determination pages for more information on hazardous wastes.
This section contains information on the OSHA Hazard Communication
Standard (HazCom) and key hazardous materials topics that can
help achieve compliance and reduce waste generation and operating costs. Complying
with the HazCom is both a legal requirement and good common sense. Good communications,
together with good workplace practices should help to reduce the incidence
of illness and injuries from chemical sources.
and pollution prevention does not have to translate to higher operating costs. By
implementing good operating practices, reducing materials
generation at the source or recycling wastes health care facilities can improve
safety, reduce the volume of hazardous materials present, reduce the volume
of hazardous waste generated, lower operating costs and liabilities
associated with hazardous material management and waste disposal. The Hazardous
Chemical Minimization section provides a wide variety of programs aand suggestions
on reducing your chemical use and waste.