Updated Practice Guidelines Help Ensure Office Safety
The American Dental Association (ADA) has added new information to its Update to Office Procedures During COVID-19 to help oral health professionals make informed decisions regarding safe practice during the ongoing pandemic.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has added new information to its Update to Office Procedures During COVID-19 to help oral health professionals make informed decisions regarding safe practice during the ongoing pandemic. Emphasizing screening protocols and the use of professional judgment in decision-making, the new guidance is designed to help dentists identify best practices for their offices as they assess COVID-19 workplace hazards in the context of local guidance and community-based factors.
The ADA update notes that hazard assessments are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard that OSHA released in June is designed to protect healthcare workers from occupational exposure to SARS-CoV- 2. It requires dental offices to implement measures to reduce transmission of the virus in the workplace. Details concerning physical distancing, aerosol-generating procedures, and the use of physical barriers and personal protective equipment are all included in the 67-page document.
Under the OSHA standard, healthcare employers must keep a COVID-19 log, establish a COVID-19 safety plan for exposure control, and implement policies and procedures to prevent the spread of the virus in clinical settings. A COVID-19 plan template, worksite checklist, and job hazard analysis sample log can be found at osha.gov/coronavirus/ets.
From Decisions in Dentistry. August 2021;7(8)6.