While not explicitly prohibited by OSHA, carpet in dental operatories is highly discouraged, since both chemical spills and bloodborne pathogen contamination can occur during dental procedures. The bottom line is that carpeting is more difficult to keep clean and cannot be reliably disinfected. Cloth furnishings pose similar contamination risks.
If chemicals are accidentally spilled on carpeting or if blood/OPIM (other potentially infectious materials) spray or splash on the floor, the only way to completely abate the contamination is to cut up the carpeting. If you choose to place carpeting in your dental office, plan on using carpet mats in areas where chemical or biological contamination might occur. In case of contamination, the carpet mat can be easily cleaned or discarded.
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.