With rapidly increasing amounts, biomedical waste is a major concern. To tackle the biomedical waste problems, we first have to understand them. As the popular saying goes
We are living on the planet as if we have another one.
This is my third blog of biomedical waste management series. In my previous two blog I have covered introduction to biomedical waste and it’s procedures, treatment and disposal. Observation is always the first step in any process. If we can detect the biomedical waste problems, we can always tackle it. Neither the government nor public can individually handle this problem. This hitch can only be resolved through combined efforts of both.
If we look at our present management system some flaws are noticeable. So, first let’s investigate some of the issues regarding this. Here in this blog I’ll cover them in detail.
Biomedical Waste Problems
Incorrect Use of Color Coded Bins
Using correct bins for a particular waste type is very important. These bins are identified by specific color codes. A particular waste type should be put in a bin marked with the color code of that waste. Inappropriate knowledge of these color codes can lead to mixing of wastes in wrong bins.It has become one of the major biomedical waste problems today.
I have covered in detail how color coded bins are used to separate waste. I suggest you check that blog out too. You can check the government guidelines on the same as well.
Not Using Proper Safety Gear
Have you seen waste handlers wearing proper safety gear sets?
Unavailability of proper and whole safety gear sets is also a major concern. Gear sets contain gloves, goggles, boots, rubber long jackets, head cover. But we rarely see workers wearing proper gear sets. Instead handlers mostly wear gloves while waste handling.Rag pickers themselves sometimes ignore proper safety gear.
Some workers don’t have safety gear because of responsible authority policy or money problems. While some don’t wear it because they think it’s not important. They feel it is an extra burden.
Due to the risk of many infections and injuries it’s very important to put safety gear on. Only wearing gloves or boots is never sufficient.
Improper waste transportation
We have commonly seen open waste vehicles. Waste transported in these vehicles are unhygienic. Such vehicles have a risk of littering of wastes on roads. These transportation increase risk of infection and spillage many folds.
We have always seen bins overflowing with garbage. It gives a breeding place to many organisms. Which in turn increases the risk of infection. Overflowing bins are unhygienic and produce foul smells. Fully loaded bins have a chance of spillage and intermixing among different wastes.
Irregular Inspection Process
Irregular long term checking of the system by responsible authorities. Long term checking always makes processes careless and workers may lack behind from their responsibilities. This can cause unnecessary delays and make the management process inefficient.
Lack of Concern
One of the major problems is lack of concern. If we don’t have any motivation, concern regarding our work, we will not complete our work sincerely. Same condition is with the waste problem. We regard it as a work due to our unawareness.
Improper Storage of Biomedical Waste
Collecting and storing biomedical wastes with municipal waste. We know the mixing of both is making all the waste hazardous. Dumping near the municipality dump yard is harmful for everyone.
Recommendations for future
Mandatory staff training and educational programmes should be organised. From doctors to waste handlers everyone should be trained on how to use bins. Waste disposal and segregation knowledge should be provided to each and every one.
Public awareness campaigns should be organised. Public awareness is the vital step. Because of the welfare of people all these steps are taken. So the public also should be aware about the dangers regarding biomedical waste’s problems.
Strict monitoring should be done at the time of running practices. Regular and strict checking can ensure the proper processing and desirable result.
Policies should be made for rag pickers or low leveled waste collectors. For their safety and interest because they are also part of our society. On targeting lower levels we can have desired outcomes. Because if roots are not healthy the plant will not sustain.
Fully loaded bins have a chance of spillage and intermixing among different wastes.
Responsible authorities should carry out routine checking of management procedures.
Bins should be filled for only three fourths in order to prevent spillage . We can fix sensors in bins. Sensors can notify bin users to change bins.
Protective gears should be distributed to all the workers. Safety of workers should be ensured. It will prevent disease transmission as well as healthy workers. Healthier environments lead to profitable work.
Healthcare facility’s policy and manuals should be practiced strictly. Only declaration of rules is not enough. Obeying rules is mandatory. With the help of manuals, guidance should be easy.
In our waste management system a feedback system must be introduced. That will help the public to file their complaints or feedback. It will establish a close relationship between the govt. and public.
Waste carrying vehicles should be assigned with bar-codes. This system will make the process serene and streamline. Unfair delay can also be prevented.
Regular cleaning practices should be welcomed. Bins, vehicles, dumping grounds, storing areas all should be cleaned regularly. Dirt and wastes should be removed. Chemicals should be sprayed to kill remaining microbes.
The use and throw concept should be avoided. As disposals are leading wastes nowadays. We should use reusable or recyclable materials.
One of the top priorities should be proper waste management of every individual. Mismanagement has the potential to harm us and our environment. Correct disposal of clinical waste is beneficial for our and our planet’s health.
Let’s be a part of this revolution and step into cleaner and safe life. We are responsible for making life better for everyone. So let’s step toward a bright and healthy future. In the end i just wanna conclude my blog series with a beautiful quote.
It is the worst of times but it is the best time because we still have a chance.
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