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- State Needle Safety Legislation - International Health Care Worker Safety Center
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Additional OSHA Resources
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There are approximately 30,000 biomedical waste facilities in Florida. These include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, laboratories, funeral homes, dentists, veterinarians, physicians, transporters, and storage and treatment facilities. The objective of the biomedical waste program is to protect healthcare workers, environmental-service staff, waste haulers, and the general public from risks associated with potentially infectious biomedical waste.
Both the Department of Health and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have responsibilities under this program. The Department of Environmental Protection has primary responsibility for biomedical waste incineration and final disposal. The Department of Health has primary authority and responsibility for facilities that generate, transport, store, or treat biomedical waste through processes other than incineration.
The 1993 Florida Legislature provided funding for the Biomedical Waste Program from the Solid Waste Management Trust Fund. Additional funding is provided through the annual permitting of facilities that generate at least 25 pounds of biomedical waste in any 30-day period. Permitted facilities are inspected annually. Facilities that produce less than 25 pounds of biomedical waste in each 30-day period are exempt from permitting, and are inspected every three years.
Department of Health oversight of biomedical waste management is conducted to assure proper identification, segregation, containment, storage, and labeling of biomedical waste. The department has established parameters for the safe handling and treatment of biomedical waste. The department has produced lists of commercial biomedical waste treatment facilities of red bags for biomedical waste containment that meet the standards of Chapter 64E-16, F.A.C. Other red bags also may be used if they meet the construction standards required by Chapter 64E-16, F.A.C.
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Chapter 64E-16, F.A.C., requires biomedical waste facilities to provide training to personnel whose responsibilities include some aspect of managing biomedical waste. Such personnel must be trained prior to assuming any duties associated with biomedical waste, and they must receive an annual refresher course. Training must detail the procedures included in the facility's written operating plan, as well as compliance with Chapter 64E-16, F.A.C. A video on VHS tape, CD, or DVD to assist in meeting the training requirement can be purchased from the Department of Health for $22.00. The order form can be downloaded from below.
If you are in business as a biomedical waste generator or transporter, or operate a storage or treatment facility, or intend to do so, you can download from below the permit, registration, and report forms you require.