Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA


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Hazard Recognition, Control and Prevention

Many dental care professionals are at risk for occupational exposure to a variety of hazardous chemicals and situations. Being unaware of the potential hazards in the work environment makes them more vulnerable to injury. The following references aid in recognizing, controlling and preventing hazards in the workplace.

  • Preventing Adverse Health Effects From Exposure to Beryllium in Dental Laboratories (PDF). OSHA Health Information Bulletin (HIB), (April 19, 2002 - Revised May 2002). Provides information on the ways in which beryllium exposures can be reduced, the type of protective equipment which can be worn to reduce exposure, and on the type of medical surveillance procedures that can be used to identify workers who may be sensitized to beryllium, or who may be in the early stages of CBD.
  • Beryllium. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.
Bloodborne Pathogens and Infection Control
Silica Dust
Waste Anesthetic Gases
  • OSHA Technical Manual (OTM). OSHA Directive TED 01-00-015 [TED 1-0.15A], (January 20, 1999).
  • NIOSH Warns: Nitrous Oxide Continues to Threaten Health Care Workers. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-118, (June 14, 1994). Provides a brief update of the hazards of exposure to nitrous oxide (N2O), including steps for prevention. Presents control measures for preventing or greatly reducing exposure to N20 during the administration of anesthetic gas.
  • Controlling Exposures to Nitrous Oxide During Anesthetic Administration. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-100, (1994). Concludes that exposure to N20 causes decreases in mental performance, audiovisual ability, and manual dexterity and that adverse reproductive effects may also result from chronic exposure to N20.
  • Control of Nitrous Oxide in Dental Operatories. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 96-107, Hazard Control HC3, (1998). Presents NIOSH research that shows controls including system maintenance, ventilation, and operations. Includes step-by-step approach to controlling N2O exposure.
  • Analyzing Workplace Exposures Using Direct Reading Instruments and Video Exposure Monitoring Techniques. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 92-104, (August 1992). Contains case studies describing a variety of circumstances where the video exposure monitoring techniques provided useful information not obtainable by integrated sampling.
    • Case Study E: Dental Administration of Nitrous Oxide. Analyzes workplace exposures to waste nitrous oxide during dental procedures
  • Nitrous Oxide in Workplace Atmospheres (Passive Monitor). OSHA Inorganic Method ID-166, (Revised May 1994). Describes the sample collection of airborne nitrous oxide (N2O). There is sufficient concern to warrant positive steps to control the airborne levels of N2O in workplaces, such as medical, dental and veterinary facilities.
  • For additional information, see OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Page on Waste Anesthetic Gases.
  • Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements. OSHA's rule addressing the recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses affects approximately 1.4 million establishments. The data collected by this rule aids employers, employees and compliance officers in analyzing the safety and health environment at the employer's establishment and is the source of information for the OSHA Data Initiative (ODI) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Annual Survey.
  • 29 CFR 1904.39, Reporting fatalities and multiple hospitalization incidents to OSHA. OSHA Standard. Provides phone numbers to report fatalities or imminent life-threatening situation, as well as to report accidents, unsafe conditions or other safety and health violations.
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