Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Overview

Guidelines for Practice Success | Managing Regulatory

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the Department of Labor and is responsible for overseeing laws that require employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. OSHA sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards and provides information, training and assistance to workers and employers. Its mission statement is to:

"assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance".
Source: About OSHA

The dental environment has the potential to put dental healthcare workers at risk for exposure to a variety of biological, chemical, environmental, physical, and psychological workplace hazards. These hazards include but are not limited to the spectrum of bloodborne pathogens, pharmaceuticals and other chemical agents, human factors, ergonomic hazards, noise, vibration, and workplace violence.

While there are no specific OSHA standards for dentistry, exposure to the different potential hazards in the dental setting are addressed in specific standards for general industry.