Rise in OSHA Inspections Nationwide, Causes Major Concern for Dentists! How Should YOU Prepare

Over the past 60 days, there has been a 200% rise in OSHA Inspections nationwide!  It is the biggest rise in OSHA Inspections, when compared cumulatively, to the past 20 years!  Why the sudden jump?  What are OSHA Inspectors looking for in “dental offices”  as opposed to medical or general healthcare settings?  

The culprit could be this new document:  The CDCs Summary on Infection Prevention for the Dental Setting.  This 44-page document is a revision to just about all of the Infection Control Practices that have been practised for the past 50 years.  This new summary has been adopted by OSHA as the “new industry standard”, by which all dentists must practice.  It is a required document to have in the dental office (or a written revision that includes all required practices).  But why the big change?

OSHA enforces safety standards and issues fines for non-compliance.  But OSHA does not always create the laws.  In 2008, OSHA said, “Since the Centers for Disease Control does all of the research and understands disease transmission, we will look to them to set the standards and establish the bare minimum standards in any healthcare profession.”  So, don’t subscribe to that old wives’ tale, that “A dentist does not have to follow a CDC Guideline or Recommendation”, these are always the bare minimum industry standards by which OSHA, CDC and the ADA enforce.  OSHA considers them to be OSHA law!

The CDC had been studying dental office infection control & disease transmission for 13 years.  They finally compiled this new summary in 2016, by which all dental offices in the USA will be held accountable.  The long-and-short-of-it:  Regardless of the dental specialty, all dental offices will need to practice to this standard!  The new guidelines require dental practice owners to set-up & execute “Hospital-Grade Level Sterilization & Disinfection Protocols”.  Written documentation that these protocols are being followed is also  a requirement. 

What’s a poor unsuspecting Dentist to do?  Print the CDC Summary!  Read it, study it, implement it!  Then, fill out the conveniently provided, written documentation at the back of the CDC summary!  The CDC basically gives the Dentist this entire update for free.  The trouble is, the document itself is difficult to read.  We find on-average, a dental team will need approximately 10 hours to read and digest the protocols and anther 5 hours for implementation and meetings. 

Shortcuts?  Sure.  Dental teams are relying on experts, like industry experts, dental coaching services or learned dental supply reps to help!   

Dental Enhancements can provide an insightful review of The CDCs Summary on Infection Prevention for the Dental Setting.  If you read the document yourself and feeling confused or overwhelmed about any requirement, simply contact us and we can provide clarification.  (Use our email at the bottom of this post).

Keep in mind that this 44-page CDC / OSHA Infection Control Update comprises only 10% of your overall OSHA written requirements!  An there are 200+  OSHA protocols currently required for all dental offices!  If you need a more complete solution for your office, don’t hesitate to ask for help with that as well. 

Written by:  Jill Obrochta   jill@dentalenhancements.com  

Office: 941-587-2864

Text by Cell: 941-302-2110