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OSHA Officially Publishes ETS COVID Health Worker Protection Rules

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as promised, has today officially published in the Federal Register their Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for health worker protection from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). However, as stated in an article in the ADA News, dental practices are mostly exempt from OSHA's new emergency temporary standard. Those most likely to be affected by the new standard include hospital-based oral surgery practices and dentists who provide care for COVID-19 patients. "The great news is that dentistry is largely exempt from this additional federal regulation," said ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., in a video message to dentists. "Why? Because of dentistry's proven ability to practice safely during the pandemic." Dental offices should have a written COVID-19 plan in place. If an office is covered under the emergency temporary standard, it is mandated to do so. If an office is exempt, it still should do a hazard assessment and written plan as recommended in OSHA's Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs. Dental practices must also conduct workplace-specific hazard assessments for COVID-19 and should continue pre-appointment patient screenings to identify individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, rescheduling their appointments if possible or referring them as necessary. To help dentists understand the OSHA emergency temporary standard, the ADA has created a fact sheet that includes some key points to help walk dentists through the process. Visit ADA.org/virus to access the fact sheet.


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                                                                        - William Arthur Ward                                                                                                                  American author, editor, pastor and teacher




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