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OSHA cites Massachusetts dental practice for respiratory protection violations

September 23, 2020

By Mary Beth Versaci

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Georgetown Dental LLC in Georgetown, Massachusetts, for violating respiratory protection and other standards, according to an OSHA news release.

OSHA cited the dental practice for six serious violations and one other-than-serious violation, with proposed penalties of $9,500, the release stated. The company has paid the penalties in full and abated the citations.

OSHA cited the dental practice for failing to provide medical evaluations and fit testing for employees required to wear N95 respirators as protection against the coronavirus; lack of written programs related to respiratory protection, bloodborne pathogen exposure control and chemical hazard communication; insufficient bloodborne pathogen training and controls; and inadequate eyewash stations, according to the release.

"The Massachusetts Dental Society continues to stress to our members the importance of following all required health and safety protocol, especially the Massachusetts Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces established to protect staff and patients from COVID-19," said Dr. MaryJane Hanlon, president of the Massachusetts Dental Society. "It is the responsibility of each business owner to ensure their practice is meeting these requirements if they wish to remain open during Phase 3. The vast majority of dental practices have successfully implemented and adhered to all existing and new requirements for practicing dentistry during the global pandemic and are taking this responsibility very seriously. MDS has made available to our members a variety of resources and tools to help comply with the required protocols."

Employers with questions on compliance with OSHA standards should contact their local OSHA office for guidance and assistance at 1-800-321-6742. OSHA's COVID-19 webpage offers resources for addressing safety and health hazards during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

For COVID-19 safety and clinical resources from the ADA, visit ADA.org/virus.