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Every day, your dental team is exposed to various occupational and workplace risks. These include infection risks due to bloodborne pathogens, reaction to pharmaceutical products and chemical agents, ergonomic risks like cuts, wounds, sprains, etc., workplace violence, and more. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards help your dental office employees to stay safe and protected while they go about performing their everyday responsibilities. OSHA compliance training also helps you by potentially reducing workplace hazards at your dental office, reducing employee liabilities, and preventing disruptions due to safety issues. 

At present, there are no OSHA standards that are specific to dental practice. But various aspects that relate to dentistry like exposure to biological, chemical, and physical dangers as well as environmental and psychological occupational risks are covered in the General Industry standards under OSHA.

In this blog, we cover the basic elements of OSHA training for your training and shed light on how best you can ensure compliance while keeping your dental practice safe and risk-free.

Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

Exposure to bloodborne pathogens is one of the most common occupational hazards for your dental team. OSHA compliance training requires you to educate your dental practitioners to use safer and better-engineered needles and sharps and personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, face and eye protection gear, gowns, etc. Your team also needs to be trained to ensure follow-up checks and procedures if any exposure occurs. Your dental staff and technicians must know how to use labels and color-coding for high-risk materials like biomedical waste, contaminated laundry, and more.

Hazard Communication

The hazard communication standard requires that you train your employees about potential workplace hazards. It is also known as the “employee right-to-know” standard. Your employees should have access to a list of hazardous substances (such as alcohol, mercury, anesthetic agents, sterilants, disinfectants, etc.) that are generally kept at your dental office. They should be trained rigorously on how to procure, store, use and dispose of such substances without causing harm to themselves or others.

Ionizing Radiation

Your employees should have knowledge about the different kinds of radiation used in your dental office, including x-ray machines and other oral scanning equipment. They should also know about the restricted areas in your office so that their chances of getting exposed are reduced. Lastly, they should know about the various types of protective gears to safeguard themselves against potential radiation damage. 

Exit Routes

Your dental office should have safe and easily visible exits to be used in the case of an emergency like an earthquake or fire. Your dental OSHA training should ensure that your employees know in-depth about the available exit routes, evacuation procedures, emergency exit arrangements, and so on.

Apart from these basic elements, there’s much more to dental compliance training for OSHA. Looking for an OSHA training partner for your dental office? ToothCE is an industry-leading e-Learning platform for OSHA, HIPAA, and other compliance training needs for dental offices in the U.S. To know more visit toothce.com or contact us at contact@toothce.com.

Deepti Sahi
Author: Deepti Sahi