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Regulated Medical Waste Management

Course Number: 498

Occupational Exposure

Occupational exposure to RMW means reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contract with blood or OPIM that may occur during the performance of an employee’s duties. Engineering controls (e.g., sharps disposal and other containers) must be available for the prompt and convenient disposal of RMW. Work practice controls (e.g., prohibiting the removal of needles and scalpel blades by hand) must be implemented and enforced.4

To further minimize occupational exposure, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gowns (aprons), gloves, masks, and goggles/face shields must be worn when handling RMW.11 PPE is considered appropriate for the task of handling RMW if it does not permit blood or OPIM to reach the employee’s street clothes, undergarments, skin, eyes, and mucous membranes under normal conditions of use.4

Immediately, or as soon as feasible, following an exposure exposed HCP must wash their hands and other exposed skin with soap and water, and flush exposed mucous membranes (e.g., eyes or mouth) with water; and a confidential medical evaluation and follow up must be made available to exposed HCP. All percutaneous injuries from contaminated sharps must also be recorded in the facility’s Sharps Injury Log.4