New opportunities for HMW
15 years ago ABESCO was set up by a team of prevention advisors and environmental coordinators that wanted to give businesses support in the field of safety and the environment. ABESCO is a consultancy firm that supports businesses and governments to develop a safety and environmental policy; and with studies, training and so forth. ABESCO works as an external environmental coordinator for a number of businesses, including various care institutions. Commissioned by OVAM and in collaboration with partners from the hospital sector, ABESCO carried out research into alternative ways to treat hazardous medical waste (HMW). In 2014 that led to an adjustment to the legislation. Sarah Janssens, division manager at ABESCO, tells us more about this study and what has been achieved so far. Read the whole story
Belgian Biosafety Professionals, Belgium
The Belgian forum and resource for biosafety
A lot of organisations in Belgium have to deal with biosafety. In universities, hospitals, factories, pharmaceutical or biotech companies, etc. people regularly come into contact with a potential pathogen or genetically modified biological material. That could be anything from micro-organisms to plants and animals. Dealing with such materials is subject to strict regulations and laws on a European, Belgian and a regional level. The Belgian Biosafety Professionals (BBP) groups together 85 such professionals that are actively involved with biosafety so that they can learn from eachother. As chairperson, Delphine Beeckman sheds some light on the work of the BBP. Read the whole story
East-Limburg Hospital, Belgium
Too much waste due to the disposable culture in hospitals?
In 2014, the East-Limburg Hospital (‘Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg’ or ‘ZOL’) produced around 873 tons of non-hazardous medical waste (NHMW) and 226 tons of hazardous medical waste (HMW). Medical waste cannot be re-used due the risk of contamination, so over 1000 tons of waste goes through the incinerator every year from the ZOL alone.Hazardous medical waste is incinerated in a special rotary kiln incinerator to guarantee full destruction of the contaminants (infectious particles). However, incineration is not the most environmentally-friendly and least of all the cheapest solution for waste treatment. The cost of waste management is weighing increasingly heavily on Flemish hospitals. Dominic Hermans, Department head for prevention and the environment and simultaneously environment coordinator for the ZOL, explains why it is so difficult to implement change there. Read the whole story
Flanders, a leading region in the field of Hazardous Medical Waste processing
Legislation in the field of waste processing is complex, and legislation on the transport of potentially hazardous
products (ADR) is more complex still. Few people have a thorough understanding of the subject. Willy Van Praet,
safety and prevention advisor for a number of hospitals in Belgium, is therefore more than an expert.Read the whole story
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium
Ebola brought users, processors and the government around the same table
Behind the stately façade of the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp, every day hundreds of experts work in the areas of research, education and services relating to Tropical Medicine. The ITM is made up of three scientific departments, a specialist outpatient clinic and various supporting services, which together employ a 500-strong workforce. One such expert is Kathleen Anthonis, who runs the ‘Safety, Health & Environmental Services’ division. Read the whole story
Facts & Figures
Safety and hygiene are of utmost importance in your hospital. A hygienic, clean hospital increases the safety of patients. Your approach and decisions also have an effect on your staff and visitors and ultimately society as well. Hospital waste also has an impact. A number of interesting facts and figures visualized. Read the whole story
UZ Leuven, Belgium
Econological working is a key priority for the University Hospitals Leuven
Processing waste in a way that is as environmentally friendly as possible and at the lowest possible price.
Each member of the chain in the hospital needs to be involved in order to achieve this. Is that actually possible?
Herman Devriese (Head of the Prevention and Environment Service and Environmental Coordinator) and Els Marjaux (Environmental Adviser) explain how important this balance is for a large university hospital such as University Hospitals Leuven. Read the whole story.
Innovative and sustainable partner
UZA is a leading institution for patients with serious illnesses, a knowledge centre where top specialists conduct scientific research and the most advanced treatments are applied. In this environment of emergency departments, operations rooms, nursing units and laboratories a great deal of waste is produced of which a lot of HMW. Read the whole story