Health and Safety Policy

Health & Safety Policy

Statement of Intent 
Our policy is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our employees and to provide such information, training and supervision as they need for this purpose. 

We also accept our responsibility for the health and safety of other people who may be affected by our work activities. This policy applies to all employees of the practice, dental associates, dental hygienists and other contractors providing services to the practice. The allocation of duties for safety matters and the arrangements that we will make to implement the policy are set out below. This policy will be kept up to date, particularly as changes occur within the practice. To ensure this, the policy and the way in which it has operated will be reviewed every year. 

Nicola Atherage is responsible with regards to communication between staff at the practice as an essential part of health and safety management. Consultation on health and safety matters will be facilitated by means of practice meetings every month or as often as is deemed necessary. Co-operation between staff at all levels is essential. All staff are expected to co-operate and accept their duties under this health and safety policy. Disciplinary action may be taken against any employee who fails to follow safety rules or carry out duties under this policy. 

Overall and final responsibility for health and safety matters within the practice lies with the Practice Owner Kunal Sirpal. 

Responsibility for safety in the following areas are: 

  1. Infection control, including clinical waste: Katy Knowles 
  2. Radiation safety: Kunal Sirpal, Dental Directory ( Neil Pick & Jonathan Stubbs) 
  3. Mercury hygiene: Nicola Atherage 
  4. Risk assessments: Nicola Atherage 
  5. COSHH: Abigail Parfitt 
  6. Manual handling: Nicola Atherage 
  7. Display screen equipment: Nicola Atherage 
  8. Emergency Drugs: Abigail Bytheway and Katy Knowles 
  9. RIDDOR: Nicola Atherage 
  10. Major incidents: Nicola Atherage Approved by: Kunal Sirpal Date: September 2019 
  11. Immunisation: Nicola Atherage 
  12. Child Protection: Kunal Sirpal 

All employees have the responsibility to co-operate with supervisors and managers to achieve a healthy and safe workplace and to take reasonable care of themselves and others. 

An employee, supervisor or manager who notices a health or safety problem, which s/he is not safely able to put right, must tell the appropriate person named above. 

Safety training: Nicola Atherage 

Investigating accidents: Nicola Atherage 

Monitoring maintenance of equipment: Nicola Atherage 

The first-aid box will be maintained by Melanie Taylor and Katy Knowles who will ensure that it is always adequately stocked. All accidents and hazardous incidents (such as spills of mercury) must be entered in the accident report book, which is kept in the office and reported to Nicola Atherage who will decide whether the accident or incident should be reported to the Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995. Forms for this purpose are kept in the office. All staff receive annual training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

Display screen equipment. 
All users of display screen equipment (DSE) are given appropriate training on the health and safety aspects of this type of work. The practice assesses all DSE workstations in the practice. Eye and eyesight tests are arranged on request and corrective eyewear, if required for use with DSE, is provided. A footrest and wrist pad are provided if required by the user. 

Electrical safety 
The Practice Manager conducts regular visual inspections on all portable electrical equipment at the practice. Records of these inspections is maintained and kept in the office. A combined inspection and test of portable electrical equipment and the fixed supply is carried out every 3 years. Records of these inspections and tests are maintained and kept in the office. 

Fire safety 
General fire safety within the practice is the responsibility of Jessica Hagan, assisted by deputies Abbigail Bytheway & Melanie Taylor. All staff in the practice have been informed of the action to be taken in the event of a fire, the evacuation procedure and the arrangements for calling the fire brigade. Escape routes must always be free from obstruction and adequately signposted. Fire alarms and smoke detectors are tested weekly. Fire extinguishers are inspected annually 

If a smoke detector or fire alarm sounds, members of staff should raise awareness within the practice, report the fire (dial 999) and evacuate the building. Staff are only expected to tackle a fire if it poses no Approved by: Kunal Sirpal Date: September 2019 

threat to their personal safety to do so. Fire drills are conducted every 6 months and a record kept in the fire cabinet. Where there is a risk of injury, manual handling operations must be avoided. Where they cannot be avoided, an assessment of the task should be undertaken considering the load, the working environment and the capability of the individual involved. 

Assistance should be requested from the team or others within the practice. 

Personal protective equipment 
Personal protective equipment is provided in those circumstances where employees are exposed to risks to their health that cannot be controlled by other means. Comprehensive training on its use, maintenance and purpose is provided as appropriate. Where appropriate, the practice owner maintains such equipment in good working order. 

Nicola Atherage is responsible for ensuring all staff receive adequate training to ensure safe working practices and procedures. Training includes advice on the use and maintenance of personal protective equipment appropriate to the task concerned and emergency contingency plans. The following tasks require special training due to their hazardous nature: 

  1. Use of the autoclave for the sterilisation of instruments 
  2. Decontamination of equipment prior to sterilisation 
  3. Disposal of used local anaesthetic cartridges and needles 
  4. Taking of any dental radiographs 
  5. Processing of radiographs 

Visitors and contractors 
All contractors and visitors to the practice (except for patients) should be referred to the receptionist to ensure that they are made aware of the hazards present and what precautions might be required. All equipment used in the practice is maintained in good working order and repair. Where appropriate, equipment is clearly marked with health and safety warnings and staff provided with adequate protection. Equipment maintenance is undertaken as recommended by the manufacturer. 

Workplace inspections 
The practice conducts regular inspections of the practice. A record of these inspections is kept in the office. Staff are informed of the significant findings as soon as is reasonably practicable or at the monthly staff meetings, whichever is appropriate. 

Kunal Sirpal – Radiation Supervisor, ensures that all x-ray equipment and appliances are regularly checked. Records of these inspections are kept in the office. Approved by: Kunal Sirpal Date: September 2019 

Autoclaves and air-receivers 
All clinical staff will be trained in the safe use of autoclaves. Staff who have not received training must not attempt to use any autoclave within the practice. 

At no time should any member of staff mishandle, tamper with or attempt to repair an autoclave. If an autoclave requires attention, it should be reported to the practice manager or infection control lead who will arrange for its repair. Autoclaves in the practice are serviced every year. An annual inspection on all autoclaves according to the written scheme of examination. 

Several hazardous substances are used in the day to day activities of the practice. These must be handled with care to avoid skin and eye contact, inhalation or ingestion. Assessments of the hazardous substances used are kept in the office. Staff should familiarise themselves with the hazards associated with each substance and the recommended means of control. The practice infection control policy is displayed in each surgery – it must always be adhered to. If any aspect is not clear, please ask Katy Knowles who is responsible for infection control within the practice. 

Training in the following areas will be provided for all staff: 

  • Personal protection
  • Procedures for the cleaning, sterilisation and storage of instruments
  • Segregation and safe disposal of clinical waste
  • Cleaning and decontamination of work surfaces and equipment
  • Decontamination of laboratory items prior to dispatch
  • Decontamination of instruments and equipment prior to service or repair.

Medicines for sedation are stored in a locked cabinet in the Records Room. The cabinet should always be kept locked. When a medicine is dispensed to a patient as part of his/her treatment, details of the patient, medicine (including batch number) and prescribing dentist should be entered in the medicines record book, which is kept in the locked cabinet. Details of the medicine, dose and batch number should also be entered in the patient’s records. 

Mercury hygiene 
Mercury vaporises at room temperature and can be absorbed into the body through inhalation or contact with the skin. The surgery must be well ventilated to prevent the Occupational Exposure Standard being exceeded and protective gloves worn to reduce skin contact. Any mercury spills must be cleaned up immediately. 

The mercury spillage kit is kept in the decontamination room. In the event of a mercury spill, the practice manager should be informed and will decide what further action is required. Approved by: Kunal Sirpal Date: September 2019 

Radiation Safety 
All staff are given general training about the radiation equipment used at the practice. Only staff who have received appropriate training and possess the relevant knowledge may take radiographs. Such training is arranged as required. A member of staff who has not undertaken formal approved training must not use radiographic equipment at the practice. 

Local rules are displayed near each machine. Where individual workloads exceed 100 intra-oral or 50 panoral films per week, monitoring badges are provided. Additional monitoring may also take place. In the event of radiographic equipment malfunctioning, the member of staff involved must immediately switch off the machine (without entering the controlled zone) and report the incident to the RPS. 

Waste disposal 
All waste generated at the practice is segregated into hazardous [or special], clinical and non-clinical waste for appropriate disposal. Waste is collected in appropriate containers and stored in a locked secure place away from public access, prior to collection. 

Particular attention is given to the safe disposal of sharps waste and designated containers are provided for this purpose. Records of disposal are kept in the office.