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How to Update Your Dental Health And Safety Policy

UPDATED 09/21/2023

Until recently, you may not have even thought much about your Dental Health and Safety Policy. Sure, it may be one of the policies you have for your practice, but it took on a level of heightened awareness with the latest pandemic conditions. 

While you don’t need to review your Dental Health and Safety Policy every day, we recommend you review it at least every six months to make sure it’s up to date, reflecting the appropriate health and safety concerns that apply to your employees, including managers, team members, suppliers, customers, and even contractors. 

Table of Contents

What is a Health and Safety Policy? 

A Health and Safety Policy is the statement about your dental practice’s commitment to maintaining a healthy and safe working environment. You are legally required to provide an environment that meets certain compliance standards.

Your Dental Health and Safety Policy doesn’t need to follow a required format, but it should clearly outline how you manage health and safety concerns in your dental practice. It demonstrates your commitment to ensuring that all employees have a safe working environment.

HR for Health recommends that dental practices maintain this document, and keep it with other related compliance documentation, rather than put it in the employee handbook.

Schedule a consultation to discuss your Dental Health and Safety Policy and find out how HR for Health can help.

Reason 1: Prevent Illness and Injury, Even Death 

California Occupational Safety and Health Act (Cal OSHA) requires that you have an Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIP) in place, but you also need your employees to be aware of, and understand, your Dental Health and Safety Policy. With buy-in from your team and all parties involved, the policy will be much more effective in preventing illness, injury, or even death.

Communication is key. As you discuss the importance of health and safety with your team, they will take it more seriously.  

Continued engagement can boost morale. Clear communication demonstrates your dedication to the health and safety of your employees. You want them to work and grow in an environment free of danger or fear. Your Dental Health and Safety Policy represents that dedication.  

As part of your dedication to a safe and productive working environment, you must also comply with all standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in your dental office. Here are a few resources related to OSHA compliance with helpful guidelines:  

Reason 2: Fewer Illnesses and Injuries Increase Productivity 

Your Dental Health and Safety Policy boosts morale, which means you should have happier and more productive employees. It’s a domino effect that can easily go off the rails if you are not diligent and transparent in the consistent communication of your policy and any updates made to it  

For those practices with state-mandated sick leave, you can focus on a rewards system that motivates employees for their at-work attendance while also following all requirements related to sick leave. There should be no penalty for using sick leave for a qualifying absence in an incentive program for your Dental Health and Safety Policy.

Reason 3: Manage Public Relations and Liability 

Your Dental Health and Safety Policy can delve into the deep end of social media and technology, since those areas can mean negative reviews and bad PR for your practice. Discipline is (or can be) an important part of this process as well. Discipline may help to ensure that the Dental Health and Safety Policy is followed even when repeated reminders do not work.  

With a discipline program in place, you must ensure that your employees are fully aware of the safety rules that you’ve agreed upon. Your policy should communicate that violations of said policy may result in disciplinary action leading up to and including termination. Your policy should be applied consistently across all employees. 

With a harassment policy in place as part of your Dental Health and Safety Policy, your employee could be warned and penalized for hateful, racist, sexist, or other inappropriate language or statements while in the workplace, and by extension, in any public forum that could reflect badly on your dental practice.  

Summing it All Up 

It’s possible, even likely, that you may not have taken your Dental Health and Safety Policy as seriously if it hadn’t been for the events of the last year. Still, now that you know how important it is, you’ve taken steps to ensure your policy is as comprehensive as possible.  

HR for Health is ready to help answer any questions you may have as you navigate the policy and procedures process with the Dental Health and Safety Policy. With our experience and background, we help ensure you’re compliant. It’s important for your practice, and it benefits you and your employees too.  

How HR for Health Can Help 

HR for Health works with you to help you and your employees use convenient online documents and on-demand HR advising and support services. We provide our clients with the opportunity to develop their own customized employee handbook in collaboration with an assigned HR Specialist. This approach ensures you have a compliant document along with the latest policies and procedures.

Schedule a consultation today to learn how HR for Health can help you develop and improve the policies and procedures for your practice.

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