Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-24-.09 - INFECTIOUS AND HAZARDOUS WASTE

(1) Each birthing center must develop, maintain and implement written policies and procedures for the definition and handling of its infectious and hazardous waste, including a specific policy and procedure on containment and repackaging of spilled waste. These policies and procedures must comply with the standards of this section and all other applicable state and federal regulations.
(2) The following waste shall be considered to be infectious waste:
(a) Waste contaminated by patients who are isolated due to communicable disease, as provided in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control "Guidelines for Isolation, Precautions in Hospitals";
(b) Cultures and stocks of infectious agents including specimen cultures collected from medical and pathological laboratories, cultures and stocks of infectious agents from research and industrial laboratories, wastes from the production of biologicals, discarded live and attenuated vaccines, culture dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures;
(c) Waste human blood and blood products such as serum, plasma, and other blood components;
(d) Pathological waste, such as tissues, organs, body parts, and body fluids that are removed during surgery and autopsy;
(e) All discarded sharps (e.g., hypodermic needles, syringes, pasteur pipettes, broken glass, scalpel blades) used in patient care or which have come into contact with infectious agents during use in medical, research, or industrial laboratories;
(f) Contaminated carcasses, body parts, and bedding of animals that were exposed to pathogens in research, in the production of biologicals, or in the in vivo testing of pharmaceuticals; and,
(g) Other waste determined to be infectious by the facility in its written policy.
(3) Infectious and hazardous waste must be segregated from other waste at the point of generation (i.e., the point at which the material becomes a waste) within the facility.
(4) Waste must be packaged in a manner that will protect waste handlers and the public from possible injury and disease that may result from exposure to the waste. Such packaging must provide for containment of the waste from the point of generation up to the point of proper treatment or disposal. Packaging must be selected and utilized for the type of waste the package will contain, how it will be handled and transported, and how the waste will be treated and disposed of.
(a) Contaminated sharps must be directly placed in leakproof, rigid and puncture-resistant containers which must then be tightly sealed.
(b) Whether disposable or reusable, all containers, bags, and boxes used for containment and disposal of infectious waste must be conspicuously identified. Packages containing infectious waste which pose additional hazards (e.g., chemical, radiological) must also be conspicuously identified to clearly indicate those additional hazards.
(c) Reusable containers for infectious waste must be thoroughly sanitized each time they are emptied, unless the surfaces of the containers have been completely protected from contamination by disposable liners or other devices removed with the waste.
(d) Opaque packaging must be used for pathological waste.
(5) After packaging, waste must be handled and transported by methods ensuring containment and preservation of the integrity of the packaging, including the use of secondary containment where necessary.
(a) Waste must not be compacted or ground (i.e., in a mechanical grinder) prior to treatment, except that pathological waste may be ground prior to disposal.
(b) Plastic bags of infectious waste must be transported by hand.
(6) Waste must be stored in a manner which preserves the integrity of the packaging, inhibits rapid microbial growth and putrefaction, and minimizes the potential of exposure or access by unknowing persons.
(a) Waste must be stored in a manner and location which affords protection from animals, precipitation, wind, and direct sunlight, does not present a safety hazard, does not provide a breeding place or food source for insects or rodents and does not create a nuisance.
(b) Pathological waste must be promptly treated, disposed of, or placed in refrigerated storage.
(7) In the event of spills, ruptured packaging, or other incidents where there is a loss of containment of waste, the facility must ensure that proper actions are immediately taken to:
(a) Isolate the area from the public and all except essential personnel;
(b) To the extent practicable, repackage all spilled waste and contaminated debris in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (6) of this section;
(c) Sanitize all contaminated equipment and surfaces appropriately; and,
(d) Complete an incident report and maintain a copy on file.
(8) Except as provided otherwise in this rule a facility must treat or dispose of infectious waste by one or more of the methods specified in this paragraph.
(a) A facility may treat infectious waste in an on-site sterilization or disinfection device, or in an incinerator or a steam sterilizer, which has been designed, constructed, operated and maintained so that infectious waste treated in such a device is rendered non-infectious and is, if applicable, authorized for that purpose pursuant to current rules of the Department of Environment and Conservation. A valid permit or other written evidence of having complied with the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Regulations shall be available for review, if required. Each sterilizing or disinfection cycle must contain appropriate indicators to assure that conditions were met for proper sterilization or disinfection of materials included in the cycle, and appropriate records kept. Proper operation of such devices must be verified at least monthly, and records of the monthly verifications shall be available for review. Waste that contains toxic chemicals that would be volatilized by steam must not be treated in steam sterilizers. Infectious waste that has been rendered to carbonized or mineralized ash shall be deemed non-infectious. Unless otherwise hazardous and subject to the hazardous waste management requirements of the current rules of the Department of Environment and Conservation, such ash shall be disposable as a (non-hazardous) solid waste under current rules of the Department of Environment and Conservation.
(b) A facility may discharge liquid or semi-liquid infectious waste to the collection sewerage system of a wastewater treatment facility which is subject to a permit pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 69-3-101, et seq., provided that such discharge is in accordance with any applicable terms of that permit and/or any applicable municipal sewer use requirements.
(c) Any health care facility accepting waste from another state must promptly notify the Department of Environment and Conservation, county, and city public health agencies, and must strictly comply with all applicable local, state and federal regulations.
(9) The facility may have waste transported off-site for storage, treatment, or disposal. Such arrangements must be detailed in a written contract, available for review. If such off-site location is located within Tennessee, the facility must ensure that it has all necessary State and local approvals, and such approvals shall be available for review. If the off-site location is within another state, the facility must notify in writing all public health agencies with jurisdiction that the location is being used for management of the facility's waste. Waste shipped off-site must be packaged in accordance with applicable federal and state requirements. Waste transported to a sanitary landfill in this state must meet the requirements of current rules of the Department of Environment and Conservation.
(10) Human anatomical remains which are transferred to a mortician for cremation or burial shall be exempt from the requirements of this rule. Any other human limbs and recognizable organs must be incinerated or discharged (following grinding) to the sewer.
(11) All garbage, trash and other non-infectious waste shall be stored and disposed of in a manner that must not permit the transmission of disease, create a nuisance, provide a breeding place for insects and rodents, or constitute a safety hazard. All containers for waste shall be water tight, constructed of easily-cleanable material, and shall be kept on elevated platforms.


Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-24-.09
Original rule filed March 31, 1998; effective June 12, 1998.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 4-5-202, 68-11-202, 68-11-204, 68-11-206, and 68-11-209.

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