In 2012, approximately 132 dental practices nationwide were inspected for OSHA violations. The total number of offices visited by inspectors is 2013 is not tallied yet, but in Practicon’s home state of North Carolina, inspections had increased almost 34% by fall 2013 over the same period of 2012.
Most OSHA inspections are very thorough, assessing all safety issues in the office. First and second place in the number of citations issued and fines levied belong to (1) Bloodborne Pathogen Standards and (2) Hazard Communication Standards respectively.
A couple of reminders concerning Bloodborne Pathogen Standards: The Hepatitis B vaccination must be made available free of charge to all staff members exposed to blood and other body fluids within 10 working days after training is completed and a work position is assigned. Within one to two months following the last vaccine dosage, titers are required to assure the vaccinated team member is protected. If a staff member refuses to be vaccinated, she/he should sign a written declination to be retained in that employee’s confidential personnel/medical file.A formal training program must be provided for all staff members at risk of exposure, including the dentists, per the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard Rules. Training must occur at the time of hiring and annually thereafter. Maintain a log of training provided in each employee’s confidential personnel/medical file. Go to www.OSHA.gov for more information on these and other OSHA standards.