Testing for businesses
Businesses of all sizes across Lancashire, where staff cannot work from home during lockdown, can now access workplace testing for employees not showing symptoms.
Tests, PPE and waste
Lancashire County Council will provide you with a sufficient supply of swabs and lateral flow tests for you to be able to repeat test your identified number of staff twice a week. Once you are up and running, you will be able to re-order further supplies to enable this to take place for a limited period, currently 31st March 2021.
If you already use your own, please continue to do so. If you do not, we can provide you with the basics. We would be grateful if you could notify us when you register whether or not you require PPE so that we can arrange delivery at the same time as the test supply. This will enable us to use our limited delivery capacity efficiently and you to commence testing as soon as possible.
Once you confirm that your workplace has completed the training, you will be contacted to confirm your resource requirements. Please be ready by considering this Bill of Materials (PDF 73.1 KB) in advance. It also outlines additional resources which you will have to source.
Waste falls into three categories. There is the used PPE. This should go into yellow and black striped 'tiger bags'. Collections should be no less often than bi-weekly. However if low levels of tiger bag waste are being produced and the GOV.uk guidance is followed, it can be longer between collections. Note that for every 100 tests carried out about one tiger bag of waste is typically produced.
Then there's the vials and swabs. Where tests are used and discarded in a work setting they are classified as municipal waste. This is because testing is not the workplace's primary activity, so would not be classified as healthcare waste. They should be placed in a bag and then into a ‘black bag’ (this may not be black depending on local arrangements, it may be clear) with other non-recyclable wastes generated from that environment. They should not be discarded in any recycling streams as they are not suitable for recycling. These wastes have been assessed by Public Health England and are not considered to pose any more risk to waste handlers than any other waste from personal care.
Packaging waste from the testing kits is the third type of waste produced. This can be disposed of in the usual way. Businesses will have their own contracts in place for general waste and most likely for sanitary waste too. They should seek to extend these to include removal of testing waste. The contractor needs to understand the type of waste being collected and how it cannot be compacted and that the clear/yellow bagged waste has to go for incineration. The codes used to identify this waste for audit purposes to the Environment Agency are 18 01 04 (tiger bags) and 18 01 07 (clear/yellow bags)
Where arranging disposal through existing contractors proves impossible, then the local authority should be contacted.