When discussing occupational safety with dentists, it is inevitable that OSHA requirements are brought up. Quite often dentists are unaware of requirements such as the need for respiratory protection in workplaces where employees are exposed to hazardous airborne contaminants above safety standards. Unfortunately, the most common response is “But I’m a dentist. Respiratory protection isn’t needed… is it?”
While that answer depends upon a number of factors, one thing is for certain, OSHA requires all workplaces with known hazards to inform the employees of the exposure, provide personal protection but first to perform a hazard assessment that will determine exactly what kinds of safety implementation is necessary. That is where Dental Safety Solutions can help achieve full compliance. This not only protects you and your employees from most workplace hazards but it may also defend your business from lawsuits.
The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment
The employer shall verify that the required workplace hazard assessment has been performed through a written certification that identifies the workplace evaluated; the person certifying that the evaluation has been performed; the date(s) of the hazard assessment; and, which identifies the document as a certification of hazard assessment.
An initial hazard assessment will determine whether or not employees are exposed to hazards above OSHA safety standards, thus requiring engineering and administrative controls to reduce exposure. If exposure to the hazard cannot be reduced below safety standards then respiratory protection and personal protective equipment must be implemented to protect employees. Additionally, the results of a hazard assessment will help the employer identify the type of personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory protection, filter selection and the filter change out schedule, which are all required when protecting employee’s from a hazardous contaminant such as mercury. Lastly, your hazard assessment must be documented and available for inspection.