U.S. Department of Labor Issues Alert to Help Keep Dental Industry Practitioners Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect dental industry workers from exposure to the coronavirus.
Measures that can help protect dental practitioners include:
- Encourage workers to stay home if sick;
- Maximize use of telemedicine for non-emergency consultations, and prioritize urgent and emergency procedures;
- Install physical barriers or partitions between patient treatment areas;
- Provide adequate ventilation and airflow in patient treatment areas so that air moves away from staff work areas;
- Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces and equipment with hospital-grade, Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus;
- Minimize the number of staff present when aerosol-generating procedures are performed and ensure staff who are present are appropriately protected;
- Provide appropriate personal protective equipment, such as eye goggles, face shields and N95 respirators, as necessary to protect dental practitioners and support personnel; and
- Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.
Visit OSHA’s Publications webpage for other useful workplace safety information.
The alert is the latest effort by OSHA to educate and protect America’s workers and employers during the coronavirus pandemic. OSHA has also published Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, a document aimed at helping workers and employers learn about ways to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.