AAO COVID-19 Task Force Obtains Clarification from OSHA
During the week of May 4, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a document providing guidance for Dentistry Workers and Employers. A copy of that document can be viewed on OSHA’s website here. On May 11, 2020, a team of AAO representatives met by phone with representatives of OSHA to obtain clarification regarding the OSHA guidance.
First, by way of overall summary, the OSHA representatives stated that this guidance document is intended as a framework with tips for dentists, and OSHA is not intending to set new requirements with this document. OSHA representatives confirmed that this statement is not intended to recommend closure of offices where state and local officials are permitting reopening. OSHA representatives clarified that if a practitioner is in an area where state and local officials are permitting practices to reopen for non-emergency procedures, you may reopen in compliance with those officials’ guidance. Furthermore, they stated that your job as an employer is to remain alert to the changing number of cases, and to adapt your practice to suit the evolving risk levels that you see in your area as your state reopens.
The OSHA representatives confirmed that OSHA’s guidance should not be interpreted as a mandate that prohibits an orthodontic practice from opening in any location where state and local officials have authorized reopening for non-emergency procedures.