Biomedical Waste Management: Prevent Injury And Illness With UR.Life OHC

According to Indian government data, the total biological waste generated by the country's 1,68,869 healthcare facilities is 484 tonnes per day. Waste can pose a serious threat to people and our environment. Here’s how UR.Life OHC is managing medical waste.

By Namami
27 Mar 2023

According to a 2022 assessment of biomedical waste in India by the National Institutes of Health (USA), India generates around three million tonnes of medical waste every year and the amount is expected to grow by eight per cent annually. Biomedical waste management is the social and legal obligation of everyone who supports and finances healthcare activities.

The Government of India (1998) specifies that Hospital Waste Management is a part of hospital hygiene and maintenance activities. This involves the management of a range of activities, which are mainly engineering functions, such as collection, transportation, operation or treatment of processing systems, and disposal of wastes.

One of India’s major achievements has been to change the attitudes of the operators of health care facilities to incorporate good biomedical waste management practices in their daily operations and to purchase on-site waste management services from the private sector.

The fundamental philosophy of biomedical waste management is centered on the 3Rs, reduce, recycle, and reuse. Rather than disposal, the best approaches strive to avoid waste generation or recover as much garbage as feasible. As a result, biomedical waste management includes prevention, reduction, reusing, recycling, recovering, treating, and finally discarding. Keep reading to find out the various types of biomedical waste management.


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Biomedical waste and its types

Human and animal waste generated during diagnosis, treatment, immunisation, or any other activity carried out in hospitals, health centres, or during research operations is referred to as biomedical waste. The amount of daily biomedical waste (BMW) produced in India is enormous. The World Health Organization states that 85% of hospital wastes are non-hazardous, whereas 10 per cent are infectious and 5 per cent are non-infectious but they are included in hazardous wastes.

About 15% to 35% of hospital waste is regulated as infectious waste. This range is dependent on the type of waste generated or the percentage is dependent on how many tonnes are produced in total. People from all segments of society, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, or religion, visit hospitals, which results in the production of abundant biomedical waste.


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BMW products are subjected to protocols and strategies that aid in their proper management in terms of characterization, quantification, isolation, storage, transport, and treatment. Biomedical waste is classified into eight categories by the World Health Organization (USA).

They are as follows:

  • Infectious Waste – Any biomedical waste that is infectious or contaminated
  • Sharps – Sharps objects like needles, scalpels, broken glass, and razors
  • Pathological Waste – Body parts of humans or animals, including tissues, fluids, or blood
  • Pharmaceutical Waste – Unused or expired drugs, medicine, or creams
  • Genotoxic Waste – Toxic drugs and hazardous toxic waste
  • Radioactive Waste – Any waste containing potentially radioactive materials
  • Chemical Waste – Liquid waste from machines, batteries, and disinfectants is chemical
  • General/Other Waste – All other non-hazardous waste

Further, the Central Pollution Control Board (India) has designated separate colour-coded bins to dispose of biomedical wastes as per their nature.

  • Yellow Bin: For anatomical waste, chemical waste, soiled waste, chemotherapy waste, discarded linen and medicines, and laboratory waste.
  • Red Bin: For contaminated plastic wastes
  • Blue Bin: For glass waste and metallic implants
  • Black Bin: For hazardous and other waste

The wastes in each of the bins have different treatment and disposal methods.


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Laws regarding biomedical waste and regulation in India

Earlier, BMW was not considered a threat to humans and the environment. But in the 1980s and 1990s, fears about contact with infectious microorganisms such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) prompted experts to consider the potential risks of BMW.

BMW is hazardous as it consists of potential viruses or other disease-causing microbial particles; it may be present in human samples, blood bags, needles, cotton swabs, dressing material, beddings, and others. Therefore, the mismanagement of BMW is a community health problem.

  • Biomedical wastes have to be properly collected, transported, and disposed of to safeguard the environment, and to streamline these activities various guidelines and rules were published by the Government of India in 1998 known as the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998.
  • The Environment Protection Act was enforced in 1986 for the protection and improvement of the environment. The rules framed under the Act mandate industrial units and corporations to act responsibly to protect the environment, choosing an adequate industrial location and functioning of industries and manner of dealing with waste.
  • The public must also take specific actions to mitigate the rising environmental degradation brought on by negligent BMW management.
  • On March 28, 2016, under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) implemented the new BMW Rules (2016) and replaced the earlier one (1988).


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The consequences of improper biomedical waste disposal

According to Indian government data, just 198 common biological waste treatment facilities are operational in India. 1,31,837 healthcare facilities use common biological waste treatment facilities, and around 21870 have their treatment facilities on-site. To address this issue, the government has issued strict guidelines to ensure that no recyclable materials are stolen.

  • Infectious waste may contain a great variety of pathogenic microorganisms. Pathogens in infectious waste may enter the human body by several routes: through a wound, abrasion, or cut in the skin; through the mucous membranes; by inhalation; by ingestion.
  • The body fluids are the usual vehicle of transmission. There is particular concern about infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis viruses B and C, for which there is strong evidence of transmission via health-care waste.
  • These viruses are typically spread through wounds caused by syringe needles that have come into contact with human blood. Bacteria resistant to chemical disinfectants and antibiotics may also contribute to the risks brought on by improperly handled medical waste in healthcare facilities.
  • It has been demonstrated, for example, that plasmids from laboratory strains contained in health-care waste were transferred to indigenous bacteria via the waste disposal system.
  • Needle stick injuries infect all types of hospital staff and waste handlers.
  • Patients who experience nosocomial infections as a result of inadequate waste management and infection control procedures.
  • The danger of infection outside the hospital for waste workers, waste pickers, and occasionally the general people that reside nearby.
  • Drugs and dangerous substances pose a risk to people handling garbage at all levels.
  • Moreover, antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli have been shown to survive in an activated sludge plant, although there does not seem to be a significant transfer of this organism under normal conditions of wastewater disposal and treatment.


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How UR.Life OHC disposes of biomedical waste

Medical care is essential for our survival and wellness, but the waste it produces poses a serious threat to both humankind and the natural environment. The community, the medical staff, and the environment are all directly impacted by improper waste management in healthcare facilities. In hospitals, health centers, and other medical facilities worldwide, a sizable volume of potentially infectious and dangerous waste is produced every day.

UR.Life Occupation Health Centers follows the rules and guidelines given by the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, (1998). The quick and prompt response of the healthcare staff at the UR.Life Occupational Health Centre at a manufacturing company recently demonstrates how OHC disposes of biomedical waste and helps it recycle. We have an established medical protocol in action, where the doctor and nurse make sure to dispose of the biomedical waste categorically. Our waste management process includes:

  • Waste collection
  • Segregation
  • Transportation and storage
  • Treatment and disposal
  • Transport to the final disposal site
  • Final disposal


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Ensuring your health and safety always: UR.Life OHC

With the UR.Life Occupation Health Center, help you to invest in your health goals through seamless interventions and targeted medical treatments. Our holistic wellness approach caters to all aspects of your well-being, and we ensure that you can bring your whole self to work.

With our medical professionals by your side, routine health check-ups will never be an issue. Advanced laboratory technologies back UR.Life Occupational Health Centers (OHC), and with highly qualified experts/technicians, we are committed to delivering trusted and quality recommendations, modifications, and advice to you.

With our medical professionals by your side, emergency infectious health hazards will never be an issue. Our healthcare experience includes:

  • Ambulance service
  • IV fluids
  • On-site medical and first aid equipment
  • Doctors and nurses on site
  • Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS)
  • Electrolyte drinks


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


URLife's holistic wellness approach identifies the factors that will enable you to achieve a stress-free workplace experience, one that caters to a healthy lifestyle by proritising physical activity. When you visit an OHC center, ask for:

  • Ask for a health risk assessment: Health Risk Assessment offers health risk status for chronic and lifestyle conditions, these include health checks for diabetes, heart health, obesity, poor sleep, and stress management. Recommendations are given based on the risk score to control and manage the risks. These recommendations include consultations with medical specialists, expert nutritionists, physical trainers, and mental health coaches who create personalised plans for diet and lifestyle modification.
  • Ask for a personalised nutrition plan: Our holistic wellness approach caters to all aspects of your nutritious well-being. This ensures that you can bring your whole self to work. Our evidence-based approach to food regimens, movement programmes, and mental health resources sets us apart from our competitors.
  • Get on a customised workout plan to get fitter: Our team of highly trained experts is adept at customising personalised training and nutrition plans to help you meet your health goals.
  • Talk to a mental health expert to learn stress management: We have a diverse network of qualified therapists and medical experts who are trained to guide you on techniques to manage stress.
  • Ask for a smoking cessation program: If you are looking to make behavioural changes you are not alone. Speak to your OHC representative today to know more about URLife’s on-demand substance abuse programs.
  • Educate yourself on stress management and health risks: Visit scheduled web talks and seminars on health and wellness to learn about stress management, and better productivity. With UR.Life Corporate Wellness by your side, you will be better armed to tackle stress. Our complete holistic well-being packages offer lifestyle solutions, consultations, and other customised services to help you live a fit and healthy life.

Click here to learn more about the UR.Life Corporate Wellness programme and unlock better health








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