Tag Archives: OSHA Dental Office

Beryllium & Silica additives in your lab products!

 

Take notice: Recently, OSHA updated their requirements for dental offices and laboratories with regards to Silica and Beryllium dust. Both are common ingredients of dental materials.  The greatest take away from this article is making sure you check your labels and SDS sheets for Beryllium & Silica additives in your lab products.  Switch to non-Beryllium & non-Silica containing products and take proper precautions for a throughout clean up.  Now, let’s dig deeper into this topic…

Why the concern over these (2) elements? 

Over multiple year studies, dental labs have been found to have a higher occurrence of lung cancers and heavy metal poisoning, not only in the employees but also their family members at home. The tasks that are associated with this increased risk of beryllium and silicate exposure are casting, sandblasting, grinding porcelain, and cleaning/maintenance processes. The main culprit is the tasks is the materials used, they contain beryllium and silica dust. The particles are 1000x smaller than a grain of sand, allowing for them to become airborne and inhaled very easily.  Poor ventilation, respiratory protection, and barrier PPE increase the risk of inhalation. This fine particulate dust also settles on our uniforms, which if brought home, is then inhaled by family members. This significantly increases our family member’s potential to develop respiratory issues, cancers, and chronic health issues. OSHA has implemented regulations that are aimed at protecting dental lab employees and the secondary exposure victims. These regulations are coming under stricter enforcement measures within dental labs and adjacent dental practices. For more information on this please visit https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/beryllium/index.html, this outlines the OSHA findings to include how family members are affected by respirable silica and beryllium dust.

The final rule was published in June of 2017 after a few months delay by the current presidential administration. However, compliance is mandatory and will be rolled out for enforcement in the very near future. The timeline is as follows:

General Industry and Maritime

Comply with all obligations of the standard, except the action level trigger for medical surveillance

June 23, 2018

Offer medical examinations to employees exposed above the PEL for 30 or more days a year

June 23, 2018

Offer medical examinations to employees exposed at or above the action level for 30 or more days a year

June 23, 2020

The time is NOW, to begin implementing programs to reduce or eliminate exposures! You can be sure that dental practices and labs (that have exposure potential) will be audited very heavily. Primarily because these issues not only affect those directly involved but also second-hand exposures are very likely as well. An excellent resource that breaks this down even further is at http://news.nilfiskcfm.com/2016/08/silica-dust-glance-answers-7-faq-oshas-new-rule/

Risk Factors

Without proper respiratory protection, the particles are inhaled into the lungs where they cause scar tissue to build up, reducing the lung’s ability to function. This is a condition known as Silicosis and along with chronic heavy metal exposure and poisoning (from the beryllium used in the materials). This condition can lead to kidney damage, lung cancer, and tuberculosis. Silicosis is an incurable disease that will cause chronic respiratory issues for life. Even if the exposure is stopped, Silicosis can, and usually does get worse. Silicosis is a preventable condition through the use of exposure controls, ventilation systems, and appropriate PPE.

Precautions & Exposure Controls

How do we protect ourselves in regards to silicates and beryllium? The most effective method of control is through substitution. If we can eliminate materials that contain crystalline silicates and beryllium for sandblasting, then the main source of silicosis will no longer be present. A common replacement is aluminum oxide, however, there are many acceptable replacements available. If substitution is an option or not, focusing on ventilation at the production source of grinding is always a good idea.  And this is a Best Practice when crystalline silicates and beryllium are in use With an effective ventilation system in place, any dust that becomes airborne is evacuated before it is inhaled or caught on surfaces. In addition to appropriate ventilation, respirators are also required in case any stray dust is not captured. Respirators require proper FIT testing programs to be in place, either by a qualified member of the team or outsourced to a third party (approved testing methods are outlined by OSHA at  https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/federalregister/2003-06-06-0 ). At a minimum, the filters on properly fitting air-purifying respirators must be N-100 type as defined in CFR 42 Part 84.179.

Proper Clean-Up, Disposal & Housekeeping Procedures

In addition to the above control methods, some specific housekeeping procedures will help reduce the chances of exposure. Wet mopping ( with disposable mop-heads), wet wiping, or vacuuming with a HEPA filter is highly recommended to keep dust from becoming airborne. DO NOT use a compressed air duster, this will significantly increase the airborne particulates in both quantity and trajectory. Always be sure to double-bag disposable-mop heads and wet wipes into sealed plastic zip-lock bags and dispose of this waste in an exterior trash container.  When these items dry, the particulate matter can be reintroduced into the air.  Best to get them isolated and taken outside of the workplace.

Awareness & Action

With the increased awareness of respirable silicate dangers in regards to dental settings, we can develop protocols and programs to decrease the exposure. Make sure to:

  • Check your lab products, replace all crystalline silicates and beryllium continuing products
  • Replace with non-Beryllium & non-Silica containing ingredients
  • Purchase proper ventilation safety stations
  • Wear proper personal protective equipment (especially respirators)
  • Never eat or drink in the dental lab area
  • Implement proper wet- clean-up with disposable wipes, zip-lock bag and isolate these items into exterior trash immediately

Most importantly, we can help to ensure all members of our dental teams, and their families, have a safe work environment and continued quality of life.

Provided by Dental Enhancements, Inc: 

Gabriel Muller USAF TSgt (Ret.), BA, NREMT, COHC

Heidi Muller  SSgt USAF, EFDA BS 

Jill Obrochta RDH BS 

For more information contact us at:  oshacoach@dentalenhancements.com

941-587-2864

Some additional sources of information pertaining to silicates and beryllium:

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/silicosis.html

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3176.html

https://www.osha.gov/dsg/etools/silica/silicosis/silicosis.html

http://news.nilfiskcfm.com/2017/01/oshas-final-rule-beryllium-cuts-8-hour-pel-90/

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9734

Dental office OSHA and HIPAA – WHAT’S REQUIRED?

If you don’t know the answer to this question, you are in for a surprise! You are not the only one in the dark regarding compliance deadlines when it comes to OSHA and HIPAA. Let us enlighten you.

Let’s begin at the beginning! Annual OSHA Employee Training is required for Federal OSHA compliance, this you may already know.

In addition to that, there was an International Chemical Safety Module added last year called The Global Harmonization System Law (GHS). It is in fact, is a completely separate training requirement from Annual OSHA Employee Training. Not to worry, don’t be overwhelmed, help is available. There are easy, affordable options to help you achieve the GHS training requirement. Selecting the right training program is key! You want a comprehensive, yet simple program (with hand-holding if necessary). Be sure you choose a company that will walk you through the process and provides outstanding service as well.

If that isn’t enough to make your head spin, there’s more! HIPAA has completely changed as of last year. The new protocols are called HIPAA Omnibus Rule. All training and implementation of new protocols were due in place by September 23, 2013. Dental offices now need to be compliant to the Omnibus Rules. This involves employee training and new patient forms, as well as a new HIPAA manual written to the new Omnibus Rule Standard. Again, choosing a user-friendly compliance training program is key! Choosing a compliance company that will walk you through this process, provide ready-to-use forms and easy-to-understand training is paramount. HIPAA compliance is very complex and overwhelming on its own. Don’t try to navigate this slippery slope on your own, help is only a phone call away! For a free HIPAA consultation for your dental office, call 941-587-2864.

Written by Jill Obrochta and Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements

 

Top 10 things you do not want to say to an OSHA inspector

Not sure if you are aware but many States are hiring additional OSHA Inspectors for more penetration into the workplace.   Dental Offices are especially being profiled.

In recent months several dental offices have been made examples of for gross negligence in infection control processes.  New Hampshire Orthodontist and Oklahoma Oral Surgeon.  Now let’s focus on what you would never want to say to an OSHA Inspector:

 

1.     “Shoot, I don’t think our autoclave is working today.  Can we just use bleach on the instruments?”

 

2.    “What do you mean I can’t wear my dirty scrubs home.  I wear them to the grocery store after work all the time.”

 

3.    “Hold on a second, I have to run this dirty needle down the hall to the sterilization area.”

 

4.    “Where is my Big Red Bag?  I have a big red beach bag at home, is that what you mean?”

 

5.    “Yes, we always drink coffee up here at the front desk, and I keep snacks right here in this drawer for convenience.”

 

6.    “What do you mean we have to do these Spore Strip Tests Weekly?”

 

7.    “What do you mean we have to send these Spore Strip Tests out to a Third Party for evaluation, we do that all in-house!”

 

8.    “GHS Certified?, No we don’t have that. We are CPR Certified!”

 

9.    “We do not have Pictograms, but Suzie got a Pajam-a-gram for her birthday at the office last week!”

 

10.  “OSHA — Sm-OSHA, we have patients to see around here. We don’t have time for that.”

 

So much for poking a little fun at the regulations.  Seriously, many dental offices do not know where unsafe behavior starts and where compliance begins!  Don’t be caught unprepared or looking uneducated.  Saying that you are unaware of the laws will only infuriate most OSHA Inspectors.  Make sure you choose an OSHA Compliance Training Company that will help you get all regulations in place.  Choose one that will help you with understanding the laws, implementing all of the requirements and that is available for direct questions you may have when putting your protocols in place.

 

Say what you need to say to Mr. OSHA Inspector, but say it with confidence and conviction.

 

Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements.

 

 

 

 

Dental office: OSHA- what paperwork is required?

 

Are you the lucky one that is in charge of OSHA compliance for your office? If you are, then where to begin with the required paperwork can leave your head spinning! Keep in mind, there is a lot of paperwork required beyond the proof-of-annual-training certificate that your employees need to sign. Let’s take a look at what else is required to be comprehensively compliant:

 

As of December 1, 2013, an additional module to OSHA called The Global Harmonization System (GHS) requires additional training and paperwork for all of your employees. GHS is an international chemical safety program. GHS Certification is now a required part of your OSHA paperwork. Also, all employees should sign forms with their risk of occupational exposures categorized, and rated by professional position. OSHA manuals are also due to be updated, and written to GHS Standard. Are you confused, maybe a little intimidated? You want to do the right thing, but where do you turn?

Rather than try to figure out and find the paperwork yourself, finding a reliable, knowledgeable OSHA compliance company will take the burden off of you completely. This one decision in hiring the right OSHA experts can be the single, most important decision you can make regarding your offices’ OSHA compliance. You’ll want to look for a company that can supply all forms and training needs so you can do what you do best, dentistry!

All of the Dental Enhancements products and services come with guided attention from one of our OSHA/GHS experts and you get all necessary forms customized for your team and in electronic format. (Microsoft Word and PDF).

Paperwork: you either have too much or can get caught with not having enough. Don’t risk it! Call Dental Enhancements and get on the right paper trail!

 

Written by Jill Obrochta and Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements

 

 

Dental Office: Where’s Your OSHA Tooth Fairy?

 

It’s no joke, having to face OSHA Compliance (especially if you are the one in charge of it!) is a pain!  No worries, sit back click your heels together and we are about to make the pain subside.  Keep in mind these (3) factors and you will be flying high with OSHA compliance:

 

1.   Comprehensive Is Key!:  In 2013 OSHA compliance mandated that dental offices begin to implement the Global Harmonization System (GHS).  By December 1, 2013 it was required that all employees be trained to this GHS-Standard. Proof of this training is also required.  Your OSHA Manual will also need to be updated to this new GHS standard.  Finally, your required OSHA Employee Paperwork needs to be updated too.  Don’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged.  Simply choose a comprehensive GHS training solution.  This one seems to be written by the tooth fairy herself.  It’s logical and stress-free!

 

2.   Seek Expert Advice:  Plain and simple: Work with OSHA Experts! The new protocols are complex and “You don’t know what you don’t know…(but you need to!)  Don’t put your office at risk for a stressful OSHA inspection.  It’s not worth the agony. Be sure to choose an OSHA compliance company that will protect and guide you.  (This company makes it easy!)

 

3.   Are You Up-to-Date?  There is no excuse for non-compliance, And “not knowing” is not a good answer! GHS Standards will undoubtedly change and update.  Stay in-touch with a compliance company that will provide comprehensive yet easy-to-understand compliance updates.  Choose an OSHA Compliance Training Company that will share updates with you throughout the year and provide an interactive relationship.  You will gain comfort, confidence, and peace-of-mind.

 

Remember these (3) factors are the key to your OSHA compliance success.  The OSHA Tooth Fairy is out there.  Call her at 941-587-2864.

 

Written by Jill Obrochta RDH BS & Heather Whitt EFDA of Dental Enhancements.

 

 

 

GHS- Why?… And What’s It All About

 

There is an old adage:  “You don’t know, what you don’t know”…And you may not know:  Federal OSHA law mandates that you have an additional training module added to your list of OSHA requirements that deal with “international chemical safety in the workplace”.

 

The fancy name for this is Global Harmonization System (GHS) and it was required for all employees (full-time, part-time and even receptionists) as of December 1, 2013.  GHS is the result of the Earth Summit, a meeting of international minds to help standardize chemical safety guidelines for all workplaces around the world.  The GHS Standard is new to the USA but has been in full operation in Europe, Canada and several United Nations for the past 8 years.  It deals with making the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)  of the USA to a standardized format, called Safety Data Sheets (SDS).  These are to be hosted in a cloud library for easy access by all employees.  The requirement is 24-hour access in case of a reaction to chemicals previously used in the workplace.  Additionally, the Hazard Rating Labels of the USA turn into “pictograms”. Small universal symbols that convey chemical dangers when handling substances at work.

 

The most important thing for dental offices to be aware of is to get the required training under your belt ASAP if you have not yet completed this within your office. (It was due in place by December 1, 2013!).  Choose a comprehensive program that gives you:  Employee Training, Proof-of-GHS-Training Certificate, New OSHA Manual (written to this GHS Standard) and all updated Employee Paperwork.  The GHS Complete Package is a favorite amongst dental professionals and it comes with a 30-minute navigational session of the materials with an OSHA/GHS Expert.  This will help you “know what you need to know”.  Get smart.  Get GHS comprehensive training and “git er done!”

 

Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements.

 

Top 10 items to have ready for any OSHA inspection

 Make sure you are prepared for Mr. OSHA inspector. These are the top 10 things that most OSHA inspectors will look for:

       1.   Your annual OSHA employee proof-of-training certificate

       2.   Other OSHA required paperwork and records

       3.    Proof of GHS Training Certificate

       4.   Biohazard receipts (for the past 3 years)

       5.   3rd party Spore Strip Test Reports

       6.    Updated OSHA Manual written to GHS (Global Harmonization System) Standard

       7.   Small red bag in every operatory

       8.   Small red sharps container in every operatory

       9.   All team have access to and should be wearing long sleeved labcoats

     10.    No food or drink outside of designated break room

Of course there are many other areas of OSHA compliance. Best practices would be to hire a competent OSHA compliance training company that will make your office compliant in these 3 areas:

1.   Annual OSHA employee training

2.   All required paperwork and manuals

3.   Customized Facility Report

You will also want to have ongoing communication with their OSHA experts. Our favorite program is the Initial Annual OSHA Employee Training Package or the All in One OSHA Training Package.

Don’t be caught unprepared, make sure your training company has your back.

 

Written by Jill Obrochta and Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements

Dental Office: Is Free OSHA Really Worth It?

We’ve all been there:  The Supply Rep brings in a decadent sandwich tray, you are eyeing the chocolate chip cookies, wondering if it’s worth the indulgence.  Then you decide, you really must munch on something sweet just to tolerate the next 45 minutes of OSHA yammering!  Is the free lunchtime OSHA really worth it?

Well, let’s face it:  Free is free. And while you may get a review of safety laws and the convoluted requirements of OSHA, nothing free really amounts to much.  Especially, when the OSHA Inspector shows up at your dental office ready to shoot holes through your Free OSHA Compliance Program.  (Uggh… Agida!  <hick-up>)

Let’s avoid the belly-aching and review the proper, comprehensive way to set up your OSHA Compliance Program.  A really good OSHA Compliance Program will have (3) components. Don’t leave any of these out:

1.   Have an Annual OSHA Employee Training Session

A proper OSHA Training Session requires you review and fully understand up to (23) areas of compliance.  Make sure you have a certificate that references all 23 areas and that all employees sign off on this.

2.  Obtain & Fill-Out All Required OSHA Employee Paperwork

There are (5) required forms for each employee to fill out.  Make sure your receptionists and part-timers are included in this paper fiasco too.  Everyone must comply.

3.  Make Sure Your Facility is up to Complete OSHA Compliance

Choose a compliance company that has expertise in all OSHA regulations for the dental office.  One that can offer a customized facility report for your office then help you get the recommendations into place.

So in the end, there really are no “free lunches”.  Get yourself aligned with an OSHA Training Company that provides the “whole enchilada”.  It’s easier on the palate and won’t come back up on you later.  <burrrp>

 

Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements

 

Dental Office OSHA: 3 Key Factors to Success

 

Creating an OSHA Compliance Program for your dental office can be a daunting task.  If the thought of implementing or updating your OSHA program makes you cringe, want to pull your hair out or quit your job….Hang-in there, there’s help!

The key is to choose an OSHA Compliance Training Company that is comprehensive, hands-on with the required protocols and easy-to-work-with.  You want an OSHA Company that is “on your side” not policing for osha.gov.  Below are (3) Key Factors to keep in mind when creating or updating your dental office OSHA program:

 

1.    Be Sure your Program is Comprehensive:  In the recent year, there were sweeping changes with regards to OSHA compliance.  In 2013, OSHA mandated that dental offices begin to implement the Global Harmonization System (GHS).  This means that by December 1, 2013 you should have at least had your team trained to the GHS-Standard and be able to show proof of this training.  OSHA manuals will need to be updated to the GHS standard as well as your employee paperwork.  Proof-of-GHS-Training is a requirement, so you will want to have a GHS-Certificate or its equivalent.  Make sure to choose a comprehensive GHS training solution.  It will make your life with this new protocol logical and less stressed!

 

2.   Work with OSHA Experts:  New protocols?!!  Uggh!… that’s enough to realize:   “You don’t know what you don’t know…(but you need to!)  And Mr. OSHA Inspector….doesn’t care!”  Don’t risk being caught-up in an OSHA inspection and being called-out on not having these important and cumbersome new protocols in place.  It’s not worth the time and aggravation a prolonged OSHA Inspection is sure to bring. Choose an OSHA compliance company that will have your back and make it easy. (We love one in particular!)

 

3.   Update, Update, Update!  It never ends!  No, I’m serious.  Just because you get the GHS Standards under-your-belt and in place within your dental office, don’t think the buck stops there!  Compliance will always come with updates.  It’s the name-of-the game.  Again, make sure you choose an OSHA Compliance Training Company that will be your “OSHA dental tooth fairy”.  One that will share updates with you throughout the year and also maintain an interactive relationship with you so you can be comfortable and confident in getting your OSHA groove-on.  (What do you think they will leave under the pillow?)

 

Remember these (3) factors are the key to your OSHA compliance success.  Don’t be fooled, it’s not that easy.  Go search-out your OSHA Tooth Fairy now!

 

Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements.