OSHA, American Dental Association Renew Alliance, Focus on Ergonomics

Just days after fining a New Hampshire-based dental office $76,500 following an employee needlestick injury, OSHA announced it has renewed its alliance with the American Dental Association. The renewed agreement focuses primarily on encouraging safe working conditions and shared technical knowledge in the area of ergonomics for employees in the industry.

"Our collaboration with the ADA has produced and expanded upon many helpful resources for the dental industry, such as information sheets and Safety and Health Topics pages," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "OSHA looks forward to continuing its relationship with the ADA to develop and disseminate resources and information that advance a culture of safety and health in the workplace."

Through the alliance, ADA developed the "Ergo Tips - Hand Pain" information sheet for dental schools and dentists. According to OSHA, ADA representatives will continue to provide expertise in updating the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens and Needlestick Prevention and the Dentistry Safety and Health Topics pages. Also, ADA developed an alliance-related Web page on its Web site that includes links to OSHA's Web site and to the OSHA and ADA alliance Web page. Other examples of the alliance's activities include ADA representatives providing input in developing OSHA's Compliance Assistance Quick Start: Health Care Industry module and serving on the module's editorial board. And last year, an OSHA representative gave a presentation on "Ergonomics for the Front Office Staff" at the ADA Conference on Dentist Health and Wellness in Chicago.

Dr. Mark Feldman, ADA president said, "The ADA is pleased to renew the Alliance agreement with OSHA. By collaborating, both OSHA and organized dentistry are able to focus on important ergonomic health issues that advance the health and well-being of dentists and their staffs."

Founded in 1859, ADA is the oldest national dental association, with more than 155,000 members, 53 state-territorial dental societies, and 545 local dental societies. The organization provides its members with current information on workplace safety and health and other issues that affect dentists, their employees, and the public.

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