Friday, October 23, 2015

OSHA Part 1

If it seems like I pick on the Government a lot in my blogs, you are probably right, but I feel that they pick on me even more.  One of our hygienists, who has been with us for over 20 years, has often made the observation that Government makes new rules just to see if I will continue to comply or just give it up.  I have always considered it a badge of honor to be in full compliance and so it will remain.  As for this blog it is about the new OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulation.  Most of you are aware of OSHA's primary obligation is to prevent evil bosses like myself from inflicting pain and suffering upon our employees.  In dentistry, OSHA covers both blood borne pathogens (infection) and hazardous communications of chemical hazards, Hazcom. There is a major change in OSHA at this time and Hazcom is the change. It is called GHS or Globally Harmonized System.  You will have to forgive me but whenever I see that term it reminds me of an old Coca Cola commercial, “I like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.”  This change from Hazcom to GHS has been occurring in stages over the last few years due to President Obama’s obsession with globalizing the economies.  His feeling is that since we live globally and our hazardous chemicals are sold abroad that we need to be able to communicate their dangers to people that don’t speak English and cannot read our MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) forms.  Therefore, he has adopted for us the 1998 United Nation's GHS rules regarding pictographs.  You know those little triangles with pictures of skulls and cross bones, flames or explosions printed inside of them.  These would be included with the English dialogue of hazards of spills, contaminations, etc (Gee, I wonder if the EPA has these kinds of labels on their spills in the Colorado rivers recently.)   Needless to say there is a huge amount of paperwork involved with all these changes.  Our old Hazcom, which used to be 28 pages long, now is over 100 pages long, and our very thick binder of MSDS forms will have to be replaced completely with the new SDS (Safety Data Sheets).   In any event, we'll discuss the importance of all this in my next blog, OSHA Part 2.

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