care waste a risk to the public
Danger lurks in the disposal of Alberta health care wastes.
From overfilled waste bags, unmarked dangerous chemicals and gas tanks with potentially explosive materials, weaknesses in Alberta Health Services health care waste management could be putting people at risk, said Auditor General Merwan Saher.
potential risks are significant in terms of human health, environmental contamination and organizational reputation, says Saher report released this week.
Auditors observed inconsistencies in waste handling; a larger hospital had more rigorous handling procedures, while a smaller nike uk hospital had some biomedical waste bags sitting on the floor rather nike uk than in boxes; some waste bags were overfilled, and some pails for sharp items didn have lids in place.
At seven southern Alberta sites, instances were found where some chemicals weren properly labelled or even labelled at all. Incompatible wastes weren properly segregated, which could lead to ignition or explosion. Some chemicals requiring special handling didn have adequate precautions in place. In one case, gasoline fuel tanks were present in the chemical storage area.
The 106 page document says AHS has failed to assign responsibility for oversight of health care wastes at all sites, and doesn have in place a way to know vendors paid to dispose of wastes have done so properly.
NDP MLA Rachel Notley said Merwan finding that untracked procedures getting wastes from the hospital to the disposal endpoint amounts to extreme health hazard to the public.
is blood borne pathogens, some types of drugs which are incredibly toxic, that can impact reproductive capacity, that have radiation features. There some highly toxic wastes that come out of hospitals and they need to be managed absolutely properly from the point that they are created t nike uk o the point that they are disposed of, she said.
Hea nike uk lth care wastes are produced at 573 of the 938 sites operated by AHS and 72 of the 112 sites operated by contracted service provides.
Two contractors dispose of most of AHS biomedical waste. A third company holds the contract for hazardous/chemical waste management. Wild fluctuations in cost structure reflect higher costs of pickup in some locations, the report found.
something I have talked about with AHS. I think they take it seriously they got in mind the steps to address those findings as well, he said.