Author Archive for: Steve MacArthur

Even with EPA’s proposed pharmaceutical waste changes, state regulations still matter

February 5th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Pharmaceutical waste, as they say in the industry, is a very sticky wicket. There is certainly a great deal of anticipation that the RCRA restrictions (nice alliteration, eh?) will be relaxed to a degree that is most favorable to healthcare facilities when it comes to this waste (see the free article posted on the Hospital Safety Connection for a brief rundown of what’s happening and happening and how to comment on the proposal, which the EPA will accept until March 4).

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For safety’s sake, follow “House” and “Scrubs” on the tube; not in your practice

January 14th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

I spent a fair amount of time over the holidays watching the continuing TV adventures of my favorite misanthrope, Dr. Gregory House.

One of the curious things that I’ve noticed (which is clearly a manifestation of my own obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as my safety-consultant nature) is that the sharps disposal containers located in each of the care environments represented in the various episodes of “House” appear to be mounted at an aperture height of about 72 inches.

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Budget cuts threaten emergency preparedness

December 16th, 2008 Email This Post Print This Post

You’ve no doubt heard about the unemployment rate, the bank bailouts, and most recently the trouble in Detroit with the auto industry. Every day headlines reveal another portion of the U.S. sucker punched by the economy.

Now you’re going to hear about some of the jabs the economy has thrown at the public health system, particularly the programs devoted to emergency management.

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Ask the expert—Spill response

October 24th, 2008 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: What is the standard volume for “large” and “small” spills?

A: Sometimes the rule of thumb on this question is that you can consider anything 1 gal or less a small spill, and everything above 1 gal a large spill. However, depending on what materials are in question, you might need to make adjustments.

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Check your stopwatch to measure eyewash station needs

October 24th, 2008 Email This Post Print This Post

The topic of eyewash stations comes up a lot.

In general, the OSHA medical services and first aid standard requires eyewash stations in locations in which there is a risk of accidental exposure to corrosive or caustic materials.

There are definitely specific environments—high-level disinfection and processing areas for one—where I would be looking for eyewash stations, but only after looking at the chemicals involved.

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