Electrical hazards in medical and dental offices can pose danger to workers and patients. OSHA mandates that employers adhere to standards to reduce workplace hazards, including those caused by electricity.
Here is a sample checklist to help medical and dental offices comply with OSHA standards:
Electrical Safety Checklist
Checked and ensured that electrical service near sources of water (like sinks and toilets) are properly grounded
Inspected electrical equipment for signs of wear, exposed wirings and malfunction
Identified and removed damaged electrical equipment
Tagged and replaced electrical equipment with signs of wear, exposed wirings and malfunction
Thoroughly inspected electrical equipment in hazardous areas that have a flammable atmosphere or materials, like the anesthesia room, oxygen storage rooms and waste storage areas
Used ground-fault circuit interrupters on all 120-volt, single-phase, and 15- and 20-ampere receptacles
Used warning signs and alerting techniques to warn and protect employees from electrical hazards
Used non-conductive barricades to prevent or limit employee access to work areas that expose employees to electrical hazards
Employed safeguards (protective shields or barriers, insulating materials) to protect working employees from coming in contact with exposed electrical parts
Trained employees on the basics of electrical safety, like not plugging in or unplugging electrical equipment with wet hands
According to OSHA, this guide only provides the minimum set of standards that address frequently found hazards in medical and dental offices. Many other standards still apply, and it is the employer’s responsibility to follow up and obtain full texts of OSHA standards. All workplaces must display the OSHA poster in places where workers will see it.
All standards are available on the OSHA website (www.osha.gov) or by calling toll-free number (800) 321-OSHA (6472).