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Healthcare waste

An overview of the requirements affecting healthcare waste in dentistry.

The requirements for the management of healthcare waste are described fully in the guidance HTM 07-01 – Safe Management of Healthcare Waste, which includes sector guides for the communities producing healthcare waste, including dentistry.

As a producer of healthcare waste, you have a duty of care to ensure all healthcare waste is managed and disposed of properly by:

  • Correctly segregating the waste and storing it safely and securely
  • Packaging it appropriately for transport and describing it accurately and fully on the accompanying documentation
  • Transferring it to an authorised person for onward transport to an authorised waste site
  • Registering (where necessary) as a producer of hazardous waste and maintaining the necessary records and returns.

If you work in a hospital or community setting, you should follow local arrangements for the management of healthcare waste.

Key learning points

This advice provides an overview of the requirements affecting healthcare waste in dentistry and will help you to:

  • Correctly classify the waste produced by the practice and, where required, include the appropriate EWC code
  • Understand your obligations for waste produced from a domiciliary visit
  • The records that you must retain and the checks that you must make to ensure that your waste carrier provides you with the correct documentation
  • Undertake a risk assessment to identify and address the risks associated with the waste produced at the practice.