Does your team have the tools that are needed to practice safely?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets and enforces standards that address injury and illness prevention, hazard communication, permissible exposure levels and much more. But, it’s each dental practice owner’s responsibility to apply these standards through consistent protocols, clear communication and trusted supplies.
OSHA provides guidance on everything from bloodborne pathogens to personal protective equipment. Here are just a few of the factors to consider when pursuing compliance with current OSHA regulations, along with tips to get your whole team on board.
To ensure workplace safety, the identities and hazards of the chemicals that are used must be available and understandable by your team. Compliance with OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard requires the development and dissemination of this information through labels, safety data sheets and training. Through The Dentists Supply Company, association members can order supplies that help to easily identify all hazardous substances, waste and radiation areas. Hazardous materials labels and an OSHA value label pack kit from Palmero Healthcare are both available online at TDSC.com at 21% savings.* GHS chemical product labels are available at 23% savings.*
OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard is designed to protect your team from exposure to blood, saliva or other potentially infectious materials. This standard covers training, hepatitis B virus vaccination, personal protective equipment, engineering and work practice controls, housekeeping and regulated waste.
- Sharps containers must be closable, puncture-resistant, leakproof on the sides and bottom, appropriately marked or color-coded, and kept upright during use. While OSHA does not specify where sharps containers are to be located in a dental office, placement should be based on location accessibility and proximity to the area where sharps are used. Give your team easy and ample opportunity to dispose of sharps safely in treatment areas or near the laundry. A robust category of sharps containers, with products from trusted brands like Cardinal Health and Crosstex International, is available through TDSC.com at up to 28% savings.*
- PPEs, including gloves, gowns, masks and eye protection, must be provided by employers as well as cleaned and maintained to provide functional and protective efficacy. Encourage team members to adhere to infection control protocols by modeling proper PPE use yourself and by stocking up on the brands, styles and sizes that they prefer. The personal protective equipment category at TDSC.com offers an expansive selection of disposable and infection control items at negotiated savings. Latex-free earloop face masks, for example, are offered at 61% savings* — which makes it easy and affordable to keep your central supply full.
Eye and face protection
When OSHA standards are not specified, the General Duty Clause covers occupational safety in dental offices, including ergonomics, nitrous oxide and other occupational exposures. This clause requires employers to provide a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause serious physical harm to employees and requires employees to comply with safety and health standards applicable to their own actions and conduct. Repeated blue-light exposure from curing lights, an emerging concern, falls under this general duty clause.
In addition to safety glasses, goggles and side shields that are part of your regular PPE protocol, consider new supplies to protect your team from possible retina damage due to blue light. Loupes with built-in filters and goggles with blue-light blocking coating (that doesn’t impede color perception) are effective options. Safety glasses and shields from Hager Worldwide, Palmero Healthcare and others are also available through TDSC.com, as well as curing light shields at up to 26% savings.
Get supplies to help your practice comply
Save on products that are designed to make meeting OSHA standards easy at TDSC.com. For assistance getting your practice set up to shop, call 888.253.1223 or email email@example.com.
* Price comparisons are made to the manufacturer’s list price. Actual savings on TDSC.com will vary on a product-by-product basis.