OSHA Regulations for Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment is crucial in dental practices, and medical offices as its design can shield you from injury and the spread of infection and illness. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 deemed the presence and proper use of PPE vital within the medical, dental, veterinary, and other qualifying work environments. You should always follow OSHA regulations for personal protective equipment during its use, maintenance, and storage.

Employer Responsibility

It is the employer’s responsibility to provide the appropriate PPE to all team members. Appropriate PPE includes the following:

  • Equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities. These materials consist of bouffant caps, hairnets, masks, face shields, gloves, and goggles.
  • Protective clothing such as disposable polyethylene gowns.

Before providing PPE, the employer must evaluate the workplace to determine the hazards present or likely to be present during daily responsibilities. Afterward, the employer should select the needed resources.

Equipment Maintenance

If working with disposable items such as gowns, hairnets, and masks, it’s imperative that those using them follow proper procedures during disposal. These pieces of equipment should not leave the workplace with the employee to avoid the spread of bacteria and blood pathogens.

If equipment is reusable and part of employer property, the items must be left in the workplace, but they must be properly cleaned and sanitized. Items such as goggles and face shields must be wiped down with a clean cloth, mild detergent, and sanitized with EPA-approved disinfectant.

Defective Equipment

Defective and damaged personal protective equipment shall not be used and disposed of immediately upon inspection.

PPE Training

The employer must provide adequate training to each employee before using PPE. Proper training material must include why personal protective equipment is necessary, how to wear PPE, care standards, and correct maintenance protocol.

All staff must demonstrate comprehension of material and the ability to use PPE properly before performing tasks that require the equipment’s use.

OSHA continues to provide regulations for personal protective equipment within the workspace as a way to enforce and maintain workplace safety, keeping many workers' wellbeing a priority. At Gamma Compliance Solutions, we'd like to extend our assistance by suggesting a look through our various educational materials. Our catalog includes OSHA compliance training for medical offices, dental practices, and veterinary clinics to help inform those about the importance of workplace safety.