Dental & Medical Office OSHA Compliance Requirements
Did You Know That the Healthcare Sector has More Workplace-related Illnesses & Injuries than Any Other Industry???
OSHA Requirements for Healthcare Facilities:
The National Institute of Safety and Health was created in 1970 as a branch of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to set workplace standards in the health care sector. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1971 to enforce these standards and protects employees’ rights in workplace settings. Examples of these workplaces are hospitals, dental offices, home health care facilities, birthing facilities and nursing homes.
OSHA requires that all healthcare facilities have annual training for their employees that includes certain standards in the workplace. All new employees should have OSHA training within 30 days of hire. The following requirements include those that normally apply to medical and dental offices, whether there are 2 or 200 employees. The complete text of the regulations can be found in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR). Code of Federal Regulations – Title 29
Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (Infection Control)
(29 CFR 1910.1030)
This is the most frequently requested and referenced OSHA standard affecting medical and dental offices. Many healthcare professionals are required to take an infection control course for license renewals. Nine Lives CPR offers the American Heart Association Bloodborne Pathogen Onsite Course that includes 2 CEs for Dental Professionals. There is also a basic Online Bloodborne Pathogens course available that meets the (29 CFR 1910.1030) standard for infection control.
Some basic requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard Course includes:
- A written exposure control plan, to be updated annually
- Use of universal precautions
- Consideration, implementation, and use of safer, engineered needles and sharps
- Use of engineering and work practice controls and appropriate personal protective equipment (gloves, face and eye protection, gowns)
- Hepatitis B vaccine provided to exposed employees at no cost
- Medical follow-up in the event of an “exposure incident”
- Use of labels or color-coding for items such as sharps disposal boxes and containers for regulated waste, contaminated laundry, and certain specimens.
- Proper containment of all regulated waste
Many medical and dental offices choose to take their compliance training even further to ensure that their offices are meeting federal regulations. All it takes is one complaint for DHEC to show up and issue a major fine. It also takes only one mistake for an injury to occur and a law suit to follow. So take your annual training to the next level by adding on other OSHA standards to your workplace update.
Nine Lives CPR recommends that your annual OSHA compliance training for healthcare facilities includes Bloodborne Pathogen Training as well as :
(29 CFR 1910.1200)
The hazard communication standard is sometimes called the “employee right-to-know” standard. It requires employee access to hazard information. The basic requirements include:
- A written hazard communication program
- A list of hazardous chemicals (such as alcohol, disinfectants, anesthetic agents, sterilants, mercury) used or stored in the office
- A copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each chemical (obtained from the manufacturer) used or stored in the office
- Employee training
(29 CFR 1910.1096)
This standard applies to facilities that have an x-ray machine and requires the following:
- A survey of the types of radiation used in the facility, including x-rays
- Restricted areas to limit employee exposures
- Employees working in restricted areas must wear personal radiation monitors such as film badges or pocket dosimeters
- Rooms and equipment may need to be labeled and equipped with caution signs
(29 CFR Subpart E 1910.35, 1910.36, 1910.37, and 1910.38 and 1910.39)
These standards include the requirements for providing safe and accessible building exits in case of fire or other emergency. It is important to become familiar with the full text of these standards because they provide details about signage and other issues. OSHA consultation services can help or your insurance company or local fire/police service may be able to assist you. The basic responsibilities include:
- Exit routes sufficient for the number of employees in any occupied space
- A diagram of evacuation routes posted in a visible location.
(Subpart S-Electrical 29 CFR 1010.301 to 29 CFR1910.399)
These standards address electrical safety requirements to safeguard employees. OSHA electrical standards apply to electrical equipment and wiring in hazardous locations. If you use flammable gases, you may need special wiring and equipment installation. In addition to reading the full text of the OSHA standard, you should check with your insurance company or local fire department, or request an OSHA consultation for help.
Every workplace must display the OSHA poster (OSHA Publication 3165), or the state plan equivalent. The poster explains worker rights to a safe workplace and how to file a complaint. The poster must be placed where employees will see it. You can download a copy or order one free copy from OSHA’s web site at www.osha.gov or by calling (800) 321-OSHA.
Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
(29 CFR 1904)
Medical and dental offices are currently exempt from maintaining an official log of reportable injuries and illnesses (OSHA Form 300) under the federal OSHA record keeping rule, although they may be required to maintain records in some state plan states. If you are in a state plan state, contact your state plan directly for more information. All employers, including medical and dental offices, must report any work-related fatality or the hospitalization of three or more employees in a single incident to the nearest OSHA office. Call (800) 321-OSHA or your state plan for assistance.
Roxy RDH, BSDH, MEd
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