New safety sharps product available to dentists

Reminder: Cal/OSHA requires evaluation of safety sharps use

A new safety sharps product, the Verena Solutions SimpleCAP, is available to dentists and can be purchased from most major suppliers. CDA Practice Support has updated its list of safety sharps providers to include this newest product. Members can access the list, which includes links to the manufacturers’ websites, in the resource library at cda.org/practicesupport.

Dental practices are required by the Cal/OSHA bloodborne pathogens regulation to regularly evaluate the appropriateness of using safety sharps with the goal of reducing needlesticks and other “sharps” injuries that can cause exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

Practices must either use safety sharps or document in their Cal/OSHA-required exposure control plan the reasons why they do not use safety sharps. The evaluation must be completed for each type of sharp used. Four exceptions allowed by Cal/OSHA are relevant to dentistry and include if the use of a sharp with an engineered sharps injury protection feature jeopardizes patient safety or the success of the dental procedure and if needleless systems are not available in the marketplace as determined by specific research.

The evaluation must document specific information, including, but not limited to, (1) the brand of dental sharps used; (2) the dental procedures for which the sharps are used; (3) whether the sharp has an engineered sharps injury protection feature, which is a physical attribute built into the sharp that effectively reduces the risk of an exposure incident, and, if not, which of Cal/OSHA’s exceptions the dental office uses; and (4) whether sharps were involved in exposure incidents and the frequency of the sharps’ use.

CDA Practice Support provides for members an exposure control plan (included in the CDA Regulatory Compliance Manual), a dental sharps evaluation form and a list of safety sharps providers, which was updated recently to include the new Verena Solutions SimpleCAP.

Find all resources referenced in this article under the “Regulatory Compliance” tab in the CDA Practice Support resource library.

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