On March 12, 2021, OSHA issued a directive to all their offices on COVID-19 safety. That directive provides guidance to both federal and state OSHA offices and their staff on what they should be looking for when do they do inspections in the coming months. In addition, the directive instructs OSHA inspectors to focus inspections on industries with increased potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

As Jackie Dorst, RDH, BS, explains in this episode of In the Sterilization Room with Jackie, number one on that list is the healthcare industry. And within the healthcare setting, physician offices rank #1, while dental offices come in at #2. Thus, Dorst advises orthodontic practices to be ready for OSHA inspections in the coming months. 

To be ready, orthodontic practices need to have the usual documentation: a blood borne pathogen protection plan (infection control), hazard communications plan (chemical safety), and general safety plan (fire and emergency preparedness). But now, orthodontic offices are required to have a respiratory protection plan in place (ie, COVID-19). In this episode, Dorst goes through the elements of the respiratory protection plan your practice needs to have on file to be in compliance. OP


OSHA Direction: National Emphasis Program – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Issued March 12, 2021

OSHA Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace (Safe Work document) – Issued January 29, 2021