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Hepatitis B Vaccination for Potentially Exposed Employees – OSHA Dental Compliance

OSHA requires the hepatitis B vaccination to be made available to all employees with the potential for occupational exposure to blood/OPIM (other potentially infectious material), within ten working days of initial employment or new assignment. Employee must be provided with information on the vaccine’s efficacy, safety, method of administration, benefits, and that it is provided at no cost to the employee. The employer may not require an employee to be screened for antibodies in order to receive the vaccination.

Employers are not required to offer the vaccination to employees who have already received the three-shot vaccination series, but should have employees sign a written declination form.

Hepatitis B vaccination is administered in three doses, with the second and third doses administered at one month and six months after the first. Mandatory post-vaccination testing for immunity immediately following the hepatitis B three-shot vaccination series is required. Serological conversion should be tested within one to two months of the last shot of the three-shot series. If the testing shows the vaccine did not work, then the employer must offer and pay for a second vaccine series and testing.

Persons who do not respond to the vaccine series, about 5% of the population, should be considered susceptible to HBV infection and should be counseled regarding precautions to prevent infection and the need to obtain hepatitis B immune globulin prophylaxis for any known or probable exposure to blood/OPIM.

OSHA does not require employers to provide routine booster shots or serologic testing, other than the serological testing required immediately following the vaccination series as described above.

For any employee that declines the vaccination, the employer must ensure the employee signs a declination form. If an employee initially declines the vaccination, and then decides to have it, the employer must pay for the vaccination, post-vaccination testing, and second vaccination series and testing, if necessary.

Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.

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