If you own or manage a tattoo and piercing studio, you’re likely aware that it’s crucial to be mindful of the waste that is produced within your studio. Many of the waste products your artists handle are considered health hazards since they are exposed to blood and other bodily fluids and require special handling under state and federal regulations.
To make it easier, we’ve compiled some tips for safe and compliant waste handling, including waste management supplies your tattoo parlor will need to have, like biohazard bags and sharps containers.
Which waste products are considered regulated medical waste?
Every tattoo and piercing studio should know what waste products are regulated waste and should be separated from general trash during the course of their work. For the average studio, this includes two categories of waste.
The first is contaminated sharps — including items like tattoo needles, piercing needles, or anything else that is used to puncture or cut the skin during handling. The second is biohazard waste, which includes anything that has been in direct contact with blood or body fluids. This includes items like gloves, gowns, and other protective equipment worn during tattooing or piercing sessions, such as paper towels, disposable wipes or cotton swabs, soiled bandages, ink caps, and leftover inks and ointments.
Both of these waste streams must be separated into their own containers as they are discarded by tattoo and piercing artists. Sharps must be placed in a clearly labeled, approved sharps container, which must be puncture resistant, leak-proof on the sides and bottom, and have a lid that can be closed. Other waste must be placed in an approved leakproof and clearly-marked waste bin. This waste must then be sent to an approved medical waste handler for treatment or disposal.
How to make waste disposal easy for workers
One of the best ways to ensure safe and complaint handling and separation of regulated medical waste is to make disposal easy for your workers. You should have three waste bins — a sharps container, a biohazards waste bin, and a regular trash bin — at every workstation. Make sure that they are within reach for the artists as they work and are out of the way. You can also post reminders for staff directly on the bins or near them.
What are sharps containers?
Sharps disposal containers are made from rigid puncture-resistant plastic or metal with leak-resistant sides and bottom. It features a tight-fitting, puncture-resistant lid with an opening to accommodate depositing sharp materials but is not large enough for a hand to enter.
What are biohazard bags?
Biohazard bags are specially made to contain medical or biohazardous waste. You should use these bags to dispose of solid or liquid items contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials. These include:
- Human bodily fluids, including any blood
- Any unfixed human tissue or organ from a human
When you’re looking for medical waste companies, choose Preferred Waste Concepts.
Don’t take on the burden of waste management disposal yourself. Let the reliable, OSHA-compliant team at Preferred Waste Concepts handle it for you in a manner that keeps your people and your organization safe.
With experienced drivers, expert disposal professionals, and a trusted, contracted treatment facility for final disposal, you can count on us to handle your waste disposal needs professionally and comprehensively.
Ready to work with us? To learn more or to get started, contact us now.