What is Regulated Waste Software?
Regulated waste software helps ensure compliance for any entity that generates or manages regulated waste. The software is designed to improve the efficiency and accuracy of regulated waste document preparation and tracking.
For healthcare, laboratory and research organizations or companies that manage their waste, regulated waste software is a powerful tool that can preserve resources and help avoid penalties and fines. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the term “regulated waste” which can lead to either unnecessary precautions or risky oversight. Let’s find out more.
What is Regulated Waste?
It depends on whose definition you read. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), regulated waste refers to:
- liquid or semi-liquid blood or other potentially infectious materials;
- contaminated items that would release blood or other potentially infectious materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed;
- items that are caked with dried blood or other potentially infectious materials and are capable of releasing these materials during handling;
- contaminated sharps;
- pathological and microbiological wastes containing blood or other potentially infectious materials.
Regulated waste, therefore, has a very specific definition according to OSHA. Still, many types of waste may fall under local, state or federal regulation. This means that waste is also “regulated”, but not necessarily by the same criteria established by OSHA. The EPA, for instance, has its own regulations.
EPA Regulation of Waste
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the legal framework for the management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste. Under the RCRA, Congress gave the EPA authority to develop the regulations and guidance surrounding hazardous solid waste. So technically, the waste under RCRA is also regulated.
As we can see, however, there’s a big difference. The OSHA regulated waste definition addresses mostly liquid-based biological wastes while RCRA focuses on solid waste.
How Regulated Waste Software Works
Regulated waste software is flexible enough to accommodate both of these definitions. It is a collection of digital tools that help waste management firms identify and document the characteristics and handling/transport of the waste. For example, common documents that are required are waste profiles and waste manifests. The preparation of these files can be complex and time consuming, but using software to prepare these documents provides many benefits and time-saving features.
The software works by putting the forms online which makes it easier to complete them. This is much different than having a computer-based template or Excel form. An online version of the form has several distinct advantages. Let’s look at each one individually.
Regulated Waste Software is Automated
Automation means many form fields get filled out faster thanks to dropdown menus, check boxes, radio buttons and more. These menus can display a list of clients or Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDF). You just click on the name, and it gets placed into the form automatically. No more typing out the name and address letter-by-letter.
This type of workflow optimization allows team members to focus on more important tasks. Also, it helps when you have to onboard new hires, as filling out software-based forms is easier to learn.
Regulated Waste Software Lives In The Cloud
“Lives in the cloud” is just a fancy way of saying that you can access the regulated waste software from any Internet connection or WiFi. This convenience lets you use the software from any device with an internet connection. Furthermore there is no software to install and no special hardware required.
A secondary – but very important – benefit is data security. If all your documents are stored in paper files or on computer hard drives, they could get lost or damaged. When the documentation is stored in the cloud, the service provider has system protections and regular backups that make sure you can get to the data anytime.
Makes EPA Biennial Reports Easy to Complete
Large quantity waste generators must submit a report to the EPA every two years. This report includes the nature, quantities, and disposition of hazardous waste generated at the generator’s facility. Regulated waste software makes report preparation much less painful as all the documents and forms are all online. From a single platform, you have quick access to everything you need.
Prevent Errors, Avoid Fines
The word “regulated” mostly means one thing: if you step out of line, you’re going to get fined or slapped with a severe penalty. Even honest errors and typos can trigger a fine. Regulated waste software greatly improves your data accuracy, and it helps prevent the omission of any critical information.
For example, hazardous waste can have complex physical properties, and the waste profile is designed to describe a wide range of waste characteristics. Waste can be characterized by its:
- Physical state at 70°F
- Liquid flashpoint at various temperatures
- Boiling point
- Total organic carbon
Another key section of the waste profile is the RCRA waste definitions and codes section. All of this complex data can be contained and completed within regulated waste software.
Rejuvenate The Entire Business
If you’re an insightful reader, you might be thinking, “I wonder if this kind of software can help other areas my company?” Well, you’re exactly right. Regulated waste software is part of a more comprehensive platform called waste management software.
From customer management to sales to operations and finance, business management software is a powerful tool that can improve the efficiency and productivity of any part of your business.
Take quote building for example. It’s well known that the first quote typically gets the job. Business management software has built in tools that generate quotes in a fraction of the time. This means more jobs won and more revenue. Similar advantages can be seen in your sales pipeline as you can easily monitor sales teams and real-time job status updates.
Go With A Software Provider Who Knows Waste
At the start of this article, we broke down the complexity of regulated waste. In order for a waste management software solution to be useful, the software provider should be intimately familiar with the waste industry. The nuances of waste management are important, as the penalties can be severe. Also, only those active in the sector know when it makes sense to cover all the bases or cut to the chase.
Get a FREE Demo of Regulated Waste Management Software
Get a FREE demo of the PegEx Platform, our Regulated Waste Management Software and Business Management Software built specifically for waste industry service providers. To get your FREE demo call PegEX at (888) 681-9616 or click on the button below.