The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is continuing to conduct health and safety inspections of dental offices in Washington state. Between April 2010 and April 2011, L&I issued more than 260 citations to dental offices statewide. The most commonly cited infractions were those involving blood-borne pathogens and hazard communication. Many citations can be avoided simply by educating dental staff on workplace safety and implementing written safety plans in case of emergencies.
As a member benefit, WSDA has developed several tools to help WSDA dentists comply with L&I regulations. WSDA has worked with L&I to create a sample accident prevention program (APP) developed specifically for a dental office. APPs are required by law and must be written out and tailored to reflect the environment of each individual dental office. WSDA members also have access to materials presented by L&I at the 2012 Pacific Northwest Dental Conference. This presentation was made by an L&I hygiene consultant and was titled “Safety and Health Issues for Dental Offices.” The course covered a wide array of workplace safety issues and best practices.
The sample APP and L&I course materials are on The Source — Accident Prevention Program. Sign in requires your last name and either your WSDA or ADA number.
Please address questions and comments to WSDA Government Affairs Coordinator, Mike Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 448-1914.