/ careworkers

Waste Management: A Guide for Independent Support Workers on Careseekers Platform

Ensuring safety and maintaining a clean environment is vital in care and support work.

This is a guide you to take you through the essentials of managing waste, infectious, and hazardous materials effectively while delivering care and support services.

Why Waste Management Matters

Proper waste management is crucial to protect clients and participants, support workers, and the broader community from harm. It involves handling and disposing of various types of waste generated during the delivery of care services safely and responsibly. Our goal is to prevent injury, infection, or offense caused by improper waste disposal.

Types of Waste and Their Management

Clinical Waste

Includes human tissue (except hair, teeth, and nails), bulk body fluids, blood, and visibly blood-stained materials.
Must be segregated at the point of generation and placed in designated receptacles.

Clinical Sharps Waste

Comprises needles, ampoules, and other sharp objects capable of causing injury. Should be disposed of immediately in approved sharps containers without recapping, bending, or breaking needles.

Pharmaceutical Waste

Consists of expired or discarded pharmaceuticals and materials contaminated by pharmaceutical products. Must be stored in locked receptacles.

General Waste

Includes non-clinical waste such as incontinence pads and disposable nappies (unless from an infectious person). Should be sorted into recyclable and non-recyclable streams per local government rules.

Key Waste Management Practices

Hand Hygiene: Always practice good hand hygiene after handling waste. Use alcohol-based hand rubs or soap and water as specified in our Infection Control Policy.

Surface Cleaning: Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces after any known contamination.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wear appropriate PPE, including gloves, when handling waste.

Spill Management: Confine and contain spills, clean visible matter with disposable absorbent materials, and dispose of these materials in the appropriate waste containers.

Sharp Handling: Avoid passing sharps hand-to-hand, minimise handling, and dispose of single-use sharps immediately into approved containers.

Storage and Incident Management

Storage: Keep waste away from food and clean storage areas. Lock receptacles for clinical and pharmaceutical waste.

Incident Reporting: Report any incidents involving waste that could lead to injury, illness, or death immediately. Follow the Incident Response Reporting and Investigation Procedure to handle and document the incident properly.

Emergency Procedures

In the event of an emergency involving hazardous materials or waste, follow the Fire Safety, Emergency, and Disaster Management policy, which includes evacuation procedures and first aid guidelines.

By adhering to these guidelines, you help ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone involved. Thank you for your commitment to maintaining high standards in waste management.

To become a care or support worker, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/carer

To find disability support services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/disability-support-workers

To find aged care services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/aged-care-workers

To make a referral, please visit https://www.careseekers.com.au/referrals