Attention Dental Offices - Are You Ready for TOSHA?

Miller & Martin PLLC Alerts | August 10, 2017

by Neil Brunetz and Mike Mallen

Tennessee OSHA (“TOSHA”) has announced a new Local Emphasis Program related to dental practices and facilities. Based upon data recorded by TOSHA over a ten year period covering 30 inspections performed at dental offices, TOSHA identified over 300 serious hazards. If an average TOSHA inspection identified 10 serious hazards per office, at today’s penalty rates, that’s a potential penalty climbing into six figures.

TOSHA found that dental offices had approximately double the number of serious hazards compared to all other combined workplaces.

The Local Emphasis Program will focus on hazards prevalent in the dentistry industry.

TOSHA inspections may include:

  • blood-borne pathogens
  • occupational exposures
  • engineering controls
  • contaminated medical devices
  • personal protective equipment
  • housekeeping
  • decontamination
  • regulated wastes
  • hepatitis B vaccinations
  • post-exposure evaluations and counseling
  • confidentiality requirements
  • hazard communication initial and required annual training
  • medical record keeping relative to employee injuries and training
  • ergonomics
  • general duty obligations concerning:
    - nitrous oxide
    - ionizing radiation
    - tuberculosis
    -infection control
  • silica and mercury
  • beryllium handling best practices
  • required safety notice postings
  • compliant recording and reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses

The Local Emphasis Program is expected to significantly increase the number of inspections at dental offices, so if you have questions about this new TOSHA Program or need help preparing, please contact Mike Mallen or Neil Brunetz in our Workplace Environmental, Health & Safety/OSHA practice group.

Please click below if you would like to view an action list regarding what you should do if TOSHA arrives at your office for an unannounced inspection.

Are you ready for a TOSHA inspection?