Infection Control & OSHA
All dental personnel are required to comply with standard precautions for preventing and controlling infectious diseases and managing personnel health and safety concerns related to infection control, as required or recommended for dentistry by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Compliance with CDC recommendations is required. Board staff may conduct office inspections to determine compliance with sanitation and infection control standards.
The guidelines for infection control in dental offices are established in the CDC's MMWR, volume 52, December 19, 2003. The CDC has also put together a document, "Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care," summarizing the guidelines. The summarized document also includes helpful checklists, which offices may use to ensure compliance.
In addition, licensees must comply with state OSHA standards as outlined by the Iowa Labor Services Division. The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) office provides consultation services. One of the goals of the IOSHA office is to reduce the incidence of injury or illness to workers by enhancing the ability to identify and control safety and health hazards. Employers can learn about potential hazards at their work sites and improve their occupational safety and health management systems by using the free consultation services. This service is delivered by the State of Iowa using well-trained professional staff. Consultations take place on-site. This program is completely separate from the IOSH Enforcement staff, and as such, no citations are issued or penalties proposed. This service is confidential. As a condition of using their services, employers must agree to fix any serious hazards that may be found.
If your office is concerned about compliance with OSHA requirements, consider requesting a site visit from OSHA Consultation. You can visit their website at www.iowaworkforce.org and click on Labor Services and IOSH Consultation and Education.