Cal/OSHA Inspections, Penalties Decrease for Dental Practices

Here is a summary of Cal/OSHA citations and penalties for dental offices from October 2010 through September 2011.

Standard #Cited #Insp $Penalty Description
Total 44 11 7330
5193 9 9 4675 Bloodborne pathogens
5194 9 5 1125 Hazard communication
3203 6 5 635 Injury & illness
461 3 3 525 Air tank permit
6151 3 2 150 Portable fire extinguishers
23400016 1 1 85 2340.16 Electrical safety orders – Work space about electric equipment
23400022 1 1 85 2340.22 Electrical safety orders – Identification of equipment
3216 1 1 50 Exit signs


Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Statistics and Data

Inspections at three additional offices resulted in zero (0) citations. Four cases remain open. Penalties shown reflect current, rather than initial, amounts. Penalties for the previous year totaled $22,500 for37 citations at 16 offices.

Column 1, Standard, is the section number of the California Code of Regulations, Title 8 (CCR8), under which the citation is given.

Column 2 is the number of citations given for the listed Standard.

Column 3 is the number of offices inspected that were cited for the listed Standard.

Column 4 is the total amount of penalties assessed per cited Standard.

Column 5 is the name and subject of the Standard. You can locate a specific section online by searching the CCR8 table of contents.

The largest single penalty assessed for the year is $1575 for a violation of this section of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard:

(d) Methods of Compliance

(3) Engineering and Work Practice Controls - Specific Requirements

(B) Prohibited Practices

2. Contaminated sharps shall not be bent, recapped, or removed from devices.

Exception: Contaminated sharps may be bent, recapped or removed from devices if a. The employer can demonstrate that no alternative is feasible or that such action is required by a specific medical or dental procedures; and b. The procedure is performed using a mechnaical device or a one-handed technique.

Two regulations were cited more often than others. Four offices were cited for failure to have a written injury and illness prevention plan. Four offices also were cited for failure to have a written exposure control plan as required by the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.