This chapter is divided into two sections, dental safety and dental equipment. You must be knowledgeable of several safety concerns associated with the dental treatment facility (DTF). In the first section of this chapter, we will discuss dental safety. The various areas of safety include such things as hazardous materials, gases, chemicals, mercury, and other environmental hazards. In the second section, we will cover dental equipment and preventive maintenance.
The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes regulations regarding the rights of employees to know the potential dangers associated with hazardous chemicals in the workplace. The goal is to reduce the risk of injury or illness caused by hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
Accomplishing this goal requires information and communication; therefore, OSHA issued The Hazard Communication Standard. This standard helps protect your right to work in a safe and healthful environment. It requires you to not only be informed about hazardous chemicals in your workplace, but also to be trained to work safely with these materials. Each DTF is guided by BUMED instructions to develop, implement, and maintain a written hazard communication program. This includes labeling, material safety data sheets (MSDS), and employee training. We will briefly cover labeling, MSDS, and some general handling precautions.
Dental products considered hazardous should come from the manufacturer with a label identifying the chemicals and containing an appropriate hazard warning. You must pay attention to these warnings. The manufacturer must supply material safety data sheets (MSDS) for products that contain a hazardous chemical. An up-to-date file of these sheets must be maintained and available to all employees. You should take time to study these sheets because they contain valuable data concerning precautions and the safe handling of each product.
If you know the general precautions for handling materials, you can easily prevent hazardous situations or accidents. Whenever you handle chemicals, follow the manufacturers instructions. Know and use proper cleanup procedures. You must dispose of all hazardous chemicals according to the MSDS instructions and applicable local, state, and federal regulations. For your own protection, you should avoid skin contact with chemicals and minimize chemical vapor in the air whenever possible. Wear protective eyewear, gloves, and a mask to protect yourself. Never leave chemical bottles open. If you do, vapors can escape into the air and chemicals can be easily spilled when bottles are left open. Do not use a flame near flammable chemicals. Eating, smoking, or drinking is prohibited in areas where chemicals are used. Eating can cause chemicals to be ingested and smoking can cause chemicals to ignite or explode.
A variety of gases and chemicals are used or produced in dental facilities. It is important for you to be aware of the hazards and to take the necessary precautions. Gases You must label, store, and use canisters of gases, such as oxygen, nitrogen, and propane, according to published standards. The use of nitrous oxide conscious sedation requires special training and the use of personal protective equipment by personnel during the administration of the gas.
Toxic vapors can be generated when mixing impression and denture materials. Using adhesive, solvents, acids and chemical sterilizers, mixing radiographic processing solutions, and mixing some disinfectant agents can emit toxic vapors. Besides theContinue Reading