The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) exempts dentistry, as a low-risk industry, from…
Employee safety is the sole focus of regulations mandated by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Hence, the intent of OSHA’s training requirements is to ensure that all employees are trained on the hazards associated with the job, as well as on ways to mitigate the hazards to perform the job safely. OSHA expects employers to anticipate and identify all workplace hazards, to control those hazards, and to train employees on those hazards. However, OSHA does not mandate how the training is to be delivered.
And while most state dental boards require dental licensees to obtain continuing education (CE) for license renewal. OSHA does not have standards specifying the number of required training hours or number of units. Trainers do not have to be certified. OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, however, does require documentation of the trainer’s qualifications.
OSHA is only concerned that employees are trained to perform the job safely. OSHA requires employers to train employees when hired; when assigned to new jobs; when a new process or material, which is potentially hazardous, is introduced to the workplace; and when a procedure is identified as hazardous. In addition, annual refresher training may be required depending on the particular standard. For example, bloodborne pathogens training is required annually, but training in hazard communication and in injury and illness prevention is only required upon employment and whenever a procedural change introduces a hazard.
The following OSHA topics must be given to new employees at the time of assignment, or if a change in the job procedures introduces a new hazard:
- General Office Safety – to cover injury and illness prevention program (IIPP), fire safety and emergency responses, eyewash stations, and washrooms.
- Hazard Communication – to include hazardous waste information.
- Ionizing Radiation – also known as x-ray safety.
- Bloodborne Pathogens – to include medical waste management information.
Although only required for bloodborne
pathogens training, it is recommended that annual training be held on all of the topics above. Keep in mind that the listing of topics above do not include training topics that are required by other federal or state agencies, such as HIPAA or specific CE.
Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered dental continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.