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Dental Offices Must Have BBP Exposure Control Plans

Federal OSHAAccording to a recent survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Organization for Safety Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP), over a quarter of private dental practices who participated in the survey did not have a written site-specific bloodborne pathogens (BBP) Exposure Control Plan. OSHA requires all employers who have employees with occupational exposure to BBP to implement and maintain an effective written Exposure Control Plan. Survey findings showed that participating private dental practices were either unaware of the requirement to have a written Exposure Control Plan or did have an Exposure Control that contained all of the required elements.

A dental office’s Exposure Control Plan must contain the following effective procedures and information:

  • Employee exposure determinations
  • Methods of implementation of 1) methods of compliance, 2) hepatitis B vaccination and post-exposure evaluation and follow-up, 3) communication of BBP hazards to employees, 4) documentation and recordkeeping
  • Management BBP exposure incidents
  • Sharps injury log documentation
  • Periodic sharps usage evaluations
  • Selection of engineering controls, including safety-engineered sharps, work practice controls, and personal protective equipment
  • Active involvement of employees in the annual review of the Exposure Control Plan

An office’s Exposure Control Plan must be reviewed and updated at least annually with employees’ input, and must be made accessible to all employees.

For our OSHA Review subscribers… a template Exposure Control Plan can be found in Section II of your OSHA Review binder or downloaded from OSHA Review’s website, in the clients-only section under OSHA Review/Documents List.

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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