To remain in compliance with Canadian law, your business will need to keep customers and staff informed on what materials are a hazard to human health with the help of biohazard labels. This is accomplished by placing the appropriate biohazard stickers on the containers that store these materials.
Human And Animal Blood
Products that have been contaminated by human or animal blood are considered to be biohazards. Blood often transmits diseases and should therefore be handled with care.
Any animal waste, such as an animal carcass, should be considered a biohazard. For example, if an animal carcass is kept as a specimen, this should be marked with a biohazard sign.
Human Bodily Fluids
Human bodily fluids, such as saliva, vaginal secretions, semen, urine and feces, are considered biohazards. While many may seem harmless, they can be used to transmit diseases.
Laboratory specimens that were designed to cultivate microbes are considered to be biohazards. For example, if your company is creating products designed to be resistant to microbes and some specimens are kept for laboratory testing, these specimens would be considered biohazards.
If your business operates in a medical setting, you will need to worry about sharps waste. This includes scalpels, needles, IV tubing and glass slides.
Supplies that Are Contaminated
Supplies that come in contact with waste should be considered biohazards. This can include gloves, towels, plasticware and bench paper that have been biologically contaminated.
Biohazards are placed under one of four classifications based on the types of viruses or bacteria it may contain. The classification is used to determine the level of precautions that should be taken. Level 1 refers to biohazards that only require gloves and face protection, such as non-infectious bacteria. Level 2 biohazards are those that are only mild diseases to humans and that are difficult to contract. Level 3 biohazards are those diseases that are severe, but which have vaccines. Level 4 biohazards are those that are fatal and which there is no vaccine, such as the ebola virus.
Regardless of the type of waste, it must be placed in a leak-proof container. It must have the biohazard labels placed upon it so that those who are handling the waste will be aware of the risk. The container must also have a means of closure that keeps the container sealed airtight. Ideally, the container should be one that is designed specifically for the handling of biohazards. There is more information available at the ICC Compliance Center website.