Health & Safety Programs

Medical Waste Inspection Checklist

The focus of medical waste inspection is containerization and segregation of solid medical waste and sharps disposal.

Filled Red Biohazard Bags may not be staged in the lab or exit corridor without secondary containment.

  • ALL red bags MUST remain inside hard-sided, properly labeled secondary containment with tight-fitting lids.
  • Red biohazard bags are not storage bags; they must only be used to contain biohazardous and medical waste.
  • DO NOT USE CARDBOARD BOXES or CONTAINERS WITH SWINGING LIDS as secondary containment for red biohazard bags.

Secondary Containment for Biohazardous Waste - A biohazard bag in use or ready for disposal must NEVER BE OUT of a properly labeled and covered hard sided container. Keep red bag containers and covers clean and free of excessive dust and grime.

  • Replace open or cardboard containers with appropriate liquid tight hard sided containers with tight fitting lids. ("naked" red bags or cardboard boxes are not allowed!)
  • DO NOT use containers with "swingling lids" as secondary containement!
  • Label on all lateral sides and lids with biohazard sign or words "Biohazardous Waste".
  • Red biohazard bags must not be used outside of cardboard glass containers.
  • Contact our office (723-0110), the CAP team member for your building, or SHC Housekeeping Department for additional labels.

Overfilled Sharps Containers - DO NOT OVERFILL sharps containers and properly dispose of them when they are full.

  • Add sharps only to the "Fill to Here" line; cover and dispose of containers when they are 3/4 full!!!
  • Sharps containers must have proper fitting lids that are closed when items are not being added and remain on until disposal.
  • Use the appropriate reusable sharps container; "purple Daniels containers" are only used for phamaceutical-contaminated sharps!
  • Red biohazard bags must not be used outside of cardboard glass containers.


Segregation and Minimization of Medical Waste - Use only RED biohazard bags for disposal of properly segregated medical waste (no orange or clear bags).

  • Only medical and biohazardous waste should be disposed in red bags. Proper segregation of waste begins at the lab bench. 
  • Non-contaminated paper towels, gloves and packaging materials should be disposed as regular trash in containers lined with WHITE or CLEAR plastic bags.
  • MEDICAL WASTE includes "fluid blood, items contaminated with fluid blood products or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM), human or animal specimen cultures, cultures and wastes from infectious agents."


Changes in Carcass Disposal for Labs Working with Animals


Additional Information

  • SCA Team member can conduct a site visit to prepare your lab for a medical waste inspection.
  • Health and Safety Programs Office (723-0110) is available to answer any additional questions you may have!

Last update 05/30/12 @ 21:15

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