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    Is your practice safe?

    A healthy practice must have safety built into the culture.

    The devil, they say, it is in the details. And while it is true that your infection control efforts must involve such details as personal protective equipment, regular staff training, and proper hand hygiene, you must also build a culture of safety to guide the practice.

    OSHA Consultation

    OSHA may seem like the bogeyman, and the practice may not want them sniffing around, for fear that they would find the worst, but OSHA can come in and assess the practice for areas where they may need some help.

    Related article: 5 surefire ways to get an OSHA inspection

    OSHA Consultation provides a free health and safety consultation service for employers with fewer than 250 employees and no more than 500 employees, corporate-wide,” Mary Borg-Bartlett, President SafeLink Consulting says. “Many employers fear inviting OSHA in, however, it can be beneficial by protecting the employer during the year of the visit from OSHA penalties.”

    This service will help the practice identify issues in any number of areas.

    Two dentists near autoclave“During the visit,”  Borg-Bartlett continues, “Consultation will help the employer 1) identify physical hazards throughout the facility; 2) evaluate all technical programs; and 3) review the safety and health program management. Recommendations will be made on how to correct physical hazards and improve both the technical programs and the safety and health management system. The employer must agree to make any corrections that are discovered during the visit.”

    An OSHA visit need not be a lengthy, comprehensive undertaking. If there is just one area that the practice is not sure about, OSHA can focus its attention on just that.

    “OSHA Consultation visits can also be limited to certain hazards,” Borg-Bartlett says. “For instance, if an employer needs to focus on complying with the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, then they could limit the consultation to that area. Another would be for conducting air sampling to ensure that dust collection systems and other ventilation is adequately exhausting dust and fumes from hazardous chemicals. This can be a very expensive service when an independent Industrial Hygienist is hired to conduct this air monitoring.”

    Related article: Why you should consider hiring an infection control consultant

    Other consultations

    In addition to OSHA, there are other consultants that can help, including the employer’s worker’s compensation carrier. Inviting in such a consultation does, however, come with a caveat.

    Continue to page 2 to read more...

    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...

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