The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that establishes regulations to protect employees from unsafe working conditions. These regulations, which are also known as OSHA standards, can vary from industry to industry so it is important for an employer within a particular industry to know the standards that apply. Employers within the field of dentistry should be aware of five different standards.
Dental offices are required to use equipment (gloves, masks, etc.) and techniques (cleaning or disposing of equipment appropriately, medical exams after exposure, etc.) to reduce the chance that an individual will contract a disease from a bodily fluid.
Dental offices are required to make sure that each employee will have access to an exit during an emergency, that there are signs indicating the location of each exit, and that there is an exit map posted.
Dental offices must inform their employees of the chemicals that are present in the office and provide information about the dangers of those chemicals (by obtaining Material Data Safety Sheets.)
Dental offices with X-ray equipment must identify the types of radiation that are present in the office and use techniques (limited access, radiation badges, and so on) to reduce an individual's exposure to harmful radiation.
A dental office is required to report any accident that occurs in the workplace in which at least three employees are injured or at least one employee is killed.