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What is required of a dental practice to comply with the Walking-Working Standard?
The US Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains a Safety and Health Topic Page for Dentistry which can be accessed at this link:
As that webpage states:
Dental professionals may be at risk for exposure to numerous workplace hazards. These hazards include, but are not limited to, the spectrum of bloodborne pathogens, pharmaceuticals and other chemical agents, human factors, ergonomic hazards, noise, vibration, and workplace violence.
There are currently no specific Occupational Health and Safety Administration standards for dentistry. However, exposure to numerous biological, chemical, environmental, physical, and psychological workplace hazards that may apply to dentistry are addressed in specific standards for the general industry. 1
An associated OSHA webpage lists standards that may apply to dentistry:
The Walking-Working Standard has its own webpage which can be accessed at this link:
As this webpage states:
Slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. The OSHA standards for walking/working surfaces apply to all permanent places of employment, except where only domestic, mining, or agricultural work is performed.
Walking/working surfaces are addressed in specific standards for the general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, longshoring, and the construction industry. 3
There is also a related webpage pertaining to hazards and solutions that can be accessed here:
Every employer is required to conduct a workplace hazard assessment. It is recommended that you review this standard and its requirements. For example, slip, trip and fall prevention is one area that would be covered under this standard. If you have any further questions regarding this issue, it is recommended that you contact your area OSHA office for further information.
1. US Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Safety and Health Topics – Dentistry. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/dentistry/index.html Accessed on June 24, 2015.
2. US Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Safety and Health Topics – Dentistry – Standards. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/dentistry/standards.html Accessed on June 24, 2015.
3. US Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Walking/Working Surfaces, https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/walkingworkingsurfaces/index.html Accessed on June 24, 2015.
4. US Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Walking/Working Surfaces – Hazards. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/walkingworkingsurfaces/hazards.html Accessed on June 24, 2015.