Does OSHA’s New COVID-19 Workplace Regulations Apply to Your Practice?

By Olivia Wann, BS, JD

OSHA published the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on June 10th.

https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework

This standard generally does NOT apply to your dental office IF you meet ALL of the following conditions:

  • All non-employees are screened prior to entry (temperature and symptoms checked)
  • People with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter
  • Your facility is a non-hospital ambulatory care setting

https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA4125.pdf

The ETS would apply to hospital-based oral surgery practices. Remember- if you’re not screening patients prior to entry, this would trigger compliance with the ETS.

ADA commented yesterday that dentistry is largely exempted from these new regulations.

https://www.ada.org/en/press-room/news-releases/2021-archives/june/dentistry-and-new-covid-19-workplace-regulations

Scientific evidence supports existing dental workplace safety. ADA pointed out that according to OSHA’s guidelines, every office must have a COVID-19 plan. Every practice must conduct a workplace-specific hazard assessment for COVID-19. Continue pre-appointment screening to identify individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

If you are a current subscriber to our Annual Audit Ready OSHA services, you either already received or may request at no cost the COVID-19 Policy. We refer to it in the OSHA manual as the Employee Safety During Coronavirus Disease 2019 Policy. If you are not a current subscriber, you may purchase this individual policy.

We also have the Hazard Assessment document.

All other guidance is addressed in CDC’s guidance for dental settings. This includes whether or not to wear a respirator.

https://www.ada.org/en/press-room/news-releases/2021-archives/june/dentistry-and-new-covid-19-workplace-regulations

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