Local Health Department Looking Into Allegations Of Mishandled Medical Waste


UPDATED: Monday September 16, 2013 11:47 PM

The Columbus Public Health Department wants to know more after allegations of medical waste and patient records being mishandled at an Ohio State University waste facility.

On Friday, 10TV spoke to three different temporary workers who were told to report to OSU's Solid Waste Management Facility to sort recyclables from trash.

What they described seeing and handling was something else altogether.

"The main thing I saw that disgusted me were the catheters that had been used and some of them had blood and urine in them," said one worker.

"I've worked (in) waste management in Canal Winchester, and I've never seen nothing like that before," said a second worker. "all that medical waste and feces and stuff."

10TV agreed not to identify the workers because they feared for their employment.
            
They were sent to OSU's waste facility Thursday by Minutemen Staffing Services at the request of a company called Heritage Interactive. Heritage Interactive is a subcontractor hired by OSU to conduct an audit of the university's trash.

The school is studying an expansion of its "Zero Waste" program already in place at Ohio Stadium.
 
Minutemen Staffing says it heard from at least five different workers complaining they were being asked to handle medical waste.

In response, the agency pulled all of its workers from the job.

Monday the Columbus Public Health Department told 10TV it planned to look into the situation.

"Any time that there is medical waste being disposed of, obviously any facility, Ohio State or really any medical facility has a responsibility to follow the law. And that's what we're looking into, to make sure that the right procedures are in place," said Jose Rodriguez with Columbus Public Health Department.
            
OSU has declined to talk with 10TV on camera about the matter, but said its procedures and protocols make what these workers describe impossible.

Minutemen Staffing told 10TV it has asked for an explanation from Heritage, but said they still had not gotten a response from the company.

A complete list of OSU's protocols and procedures for handling medical waste: http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2013/09/13/columbus-workers-describe-finding-medial-waste-biohazard-materials-at-ohio-state-university-waste-facility.html

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