As Covid-19 taught us, we can not predict the future, but we CAN prepare for it!
There could be situations in the future that could cause our practice to have to close its doors again. Think of any natural disasters that could happen -- floods, fires, hurricanes! We've seen it impact other practices, it's time to prepare & get everything we need to have in place to protect our practice and team by having an Occupational Health & Safety program.
“Most people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan” – John L. Beckley
Let’s talk about Infection Prevention Control (IPC). The standard of IPC is to stop the spread of infectious diseases within our office, keeping our team, patients, and business safe. It includes proper PPE, donning and doffing of PPE, steps for reprocessing, sterilization, and maintaining your equipment including waterlines, etc.
So then, what is Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)? The main purpose of OHS is to protect WORKERS from health and safety hazards on the job. Our dental regulatory boards require all dental clinics to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act Regulations and Code.
It includes a separate manual with policies and procedures for keeping your team safe from biological, chemical, physical, and psychological hazards. These hazards must also be inspected annually.
Annual training is also required for your team so they know how to keep themselves and their teammates safe in the workplace.
What if there was a fire, flood, violence in the workplace, or another pandemic? Would your team know the proper protocols, muster points, or emergency contacts for each of those scenarios? What if one of our team members was working alone and they fall and injures themselves? Or what if the office was robbed while they were by themselves?
This is where your occupational health and safety manual would really come in handy as this manual will hold your policies, protocols, and documentation for all these events (plus more). Regular training is required to help our team prepare for these various scenarios.
Just like when we were in school -- did they not conduct regular emergency drills so we could practice how we would safely evacuate if there was a fire in the school? The school did this because it is important that everybody knows where the appropriate meeting place was, what the protocols are, and to ensure that everyone made it out safely if there ever was a fire!
We need to do the same to keep our team safe and protect our business.
COVID-19 brought on many changes to our IPC & PPE.
The same is true for OHS. Our OHS manual needs to be updated with these new standards. We also need to provide the necessary inspection, paperwork, and train our team.
We have helped hundreds of Dentists develop, implement, and manage your HR & OHS.