Biohazard labels are crucial for implementing workplace safety. Without labeling, you put your employees at risk for harmful chemical exposure that can sometimes result in permanent injury. If your company is caught not making proper use of bio-hazard labels, you may be at risk for a fine or held legally responsible. If your business deals with dangerous materials you must adhere to the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. This blog post details the importance of biohazard labels and introduces you to how your organization can use them.
1. Why Are Bio Hazard Labels Necessary?
Unlike power tools and forges, which present a clear danger, biological hazards aren’t always visible to the naked eye. Sometimes a seemingly clear liquid can be the most dangerous item in the workplace. Because chemicals appear in many different forms, labeling is crucial for helping your employees know what they’re getting in contact with.
Biohazard labels not only alert people to possible danger, but they also tell people how to handle the chemicals properly. Biohazard labels prevent improper handling and storage techniques, which can have disastrous effects.
2. How Can Your Organization Properly Use Bio Hazard Labels?
The first step to ensuring safety in your workplace is to provide all employees with occupational exposure to chemicals with training. The training should educate employees on reading biohazard signs and get them familiar with emergency procedures. It’s also important to train your part-time and temporary employees to avoid any accidents.
Another thing that increases the effectiveness of biohazard labels is keeping detailed documentation. Your staff should know exactly where to go if they have any questions about labels or handling procedures. Keeping detailed documentation reduces confusion and keeps everyone on the same page.
Preparing rescue plans is also vital to maintaining safety in the work place. Depending on the hazard labels, your employees should know what to do in case of a spill or inadvertent exposure. Regularly reviewing rescue plans is also important to ensure you give your employees all the necessary tools to stay safe.
3. Medical Waste Containers
Any containers that contain regulated waste, blood or other potentially infectious materials must be labeled. Even containers used to transport or store blood need to be properly labeled.
4. Contaminated Laundry
If your company deals with infectious laundry, you need to make sure everything is properly labeled. Contaminated laundry has the possibility of spreading blood borne pathogens. The bags used to transport the laundry must be labeled or color-coded. Labelling is usually more accepted for contaminated laundry since it’s a universal indicator.
5. Sharps Containers
Sharps containers are one of the most common places you see bio hazard labels. Since sharps containers often contain hazardous material, they absolutely must be labeled in accordance with the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.
6. Certain Types Of Equipment
Anytime you have equipment that comes in contact with blood or other infectious materials; you need to attach a biohazard label to the container holding the equipment.
7. Are There Exceptions To Where You Need Bio Hazard Labels?
Biohazard labels don’t need to cover absolutely every inch of your work place. The handling process of the dangerous materials usually determines if a biohazard label is required. For example, if your workplace uses a color-coded system for hazardous materials then you don’t need to additional bio-hazard labels.
If you deal with regulated waste that has been decontaminated, then you also don’t need labels. Furthermore, certain types of blood and blood components that have been approved for clinical use don’t need a label. It’s important your company stays up to date with the latest regulations surrounding bio-hazard labels. Staying up to date with bio-hazard ordinances will keep your staff safe and your business compliant.