Dental professionals have been strictly following infection control guidelines for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, leading to an exemption from the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emergency temporary standard (ETS).
OSHA issued a new ETS for COVID-19 for workplace settings on June 10, and scientific evidence supports existing dental workplace safety.
“The strengthened infection control guidance and very low COVID-19 infection rate for dentists and dental hygienists prove that dental practices are safe workplaces,” stated Daniel J. Klemmedson, DDS, MD, ADA president, in a release from the ADA.
According to OSHA guidelines, every dental office should have a written COVID-19 plan, regardless of practice setting. If an office is covered under this ETS it is mandated to do so; if an office is exempt, it still should do a hazard assessment and written plan as recommended by OSHA. Based on OSHA’s Hazard Identification and Assessment, the ADA has already created a guide and checklist to walk dentists through this process.