Needlestick in Dental Office Leads to 'Willful' Charge, $76,500 in Fines

OSHA has cited Allcare Dental for alleged willful and serious violations of occupational health standards at its Nashua, N.H., dental office after an employee suffered a needlestick injury. The office faces $76,500 in proposed fines. OSHA's inspection found that the office did not provide the injured employee with no-cost, post-exposure medical evaluation and follow-up, and did not have the blood of the source individual tested, as required under OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard.

In addition, the office's training program did not include the proper method of removing the capped needle from a syringe, did not explain procedures to be followed in the event of an exposure, and did not provide an opportunity for employees to ask questions about the training. The office's exposure control program also was incomplete and not updated annually, OSHA said. Finally, the office did not use needles with engineered safety devices for user protection.

"OSHA standards spell out the steps that an employer must take to safeguard the health of employees whose duties may involve contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director in Concord, N.H.. "It's vital that these safeguards be effectively implemented, communicated and kept up-to-date so that employees and managers know how to both minimize hazards and respond in the event of an exposure."

The agency issued Allcare one willful citation, with a $63,000 proposed fine, for not testing the source individual's blood for infection even after OSHA notified the office that this was required. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

Six serious citations, with $13,500 in proposed fines, have been issued for not providing the post-exposure evaluation and follow-up; not annually reviewing and updating the exposure control program; training deficiencies; and not using sharps with engineered sharps protection. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

OSHA's Web site provides more in-depth information about bloodborne pathogens and needlestick prevention on a page dedicated to that topic at www.osha.gov/SLTC/bloodbornepathogens. Allcare has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and fines to meet with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping there are always questions regarding the requirements and in and outs. IndustrySafe is here to help. We put together this page with critical information to help answer your key questions about OSHA recordkeeping.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We put together a guide that’s easy to digest so you can ensure you're complying with OSHA's training standards.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus