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Clinic Policy Manual

Hazard Control

Subject:   Hazard Control
Effective Date:   July 1994
Revision Dates:  
January 2002, September 2008, June 2015, January 2016


To provide policy for control of all hazards to patients, students, residents, staff, and faculty who are at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

General Policy

All activities for patient care, research, and instruction in the School of Dentistry are to be conducted safely and consistent with University of Washington Policies and procedures as stipulated in the Laboratory Safety Manual, Biohazards Safety Manual, and Radiation Safety Manual, in standards stated in the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA), in the “Recommended Infection-Control Practices for Dentistry,” as published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) of the US Public Health Service Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and  in rules and regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most recent revisions.


I. Responsibility

Responsibility for hazard avoidance and protection activities rests with the Dean, and by delegation, with the Associate Dean of Clinical Services, Director of Clinic Operations, and the Director of Health & Safety. All students and workforce are expected to participate directly in assuring that safe working conditions for patient care, instruction and research are maintained and are required to comply with occupational and safety regulations which apply to their own actions and conduct.  They are responsible for reporting accidents, injuries, incidents, and unsafe conditions to their supervisor and/or instructor. The School embraces a culture of safety and supports a concept of ‘See Something, Say Something’ by reporting concerns to a supervisor or the Director of Health & Safety.

II. Organization

School of Dentistry hazard prevention, control, and related activities will be managed by the Health and Safety Committee.  This committee  will report to the Associate Dean of Clinical Services or his/her designee and is responsible for coordinating hazard prevention, control, training and other activities between School of Dentistry academic departments, research laboratories, and clinical programs, including patient care clinics and clinical support laboratories, radiology, and related programs.  The Director of Health & Safety  will serve as liaison between the School of Dentistry and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety of the University of Washington.  The Director  will be responsible for assembling and maintaining current information regarding all University, State, and Federal regulations about hazards control and hazards avoidance.

III.  Health and Safety Committee

The Director of Health and Safety will Chair the Health and Safety Committee and serve as the appointed member of the University’s  Group 4 Safety Committee.  The safety committee’s review will span the full range of hazards matters, including but not limited to infection control and asepsis, chemical (pharmaceutical, anesthetic, and hazardous materials), radiological and biological safety, waste disposal, safety orientation, education and training, work site and environmental safety, accident/incident reporting, emergency notification and services, and occupational health requirements.

It will also seek advice and information from the University of Washington Department of Environmental Health and Safety and such other resources as it may consider appropriate.

The Health and Safety Committee  will function within the scope of a charge to be approved by the Dean.  Charge will include but not be limited to the following mandates:

  • In consultation with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, the Committee will conduct an annual review and report to the Associate Dean of Clinic Services on the School’s compliance with all regulations regarding hazards in the workplace, including those associated with patient care.
  • Recommend policy proposals and safety protocols to the Dean.
  • Prepare reports as requested by the Dean.
  • Respond to requests for data to support compliance with accreditation standards.

Its membership will consist of representatives from administrative unit,  research laboratories, clinical services, and clinical  faculty.  Guests from the Department of Environmental Health and Safety attend as guests and content experts of the Committee. When additional expertise is required, the Chair may appoint additional members who may serve on the Committee for a limited period of time.  The Health and Safety  Committee will meet at least once per academic quarter.

IV. Infection Control

Infection control, like all health/safety matters is a universally shared responsibility for everyone in the School of Dentistry, who is involved in patient care and research.

Accordingly, the Associate Dean for Clinical Services will be responsible for the safe operation of all clinical areas and associated support services, including clinical laboratories.

In discharging this responsibility, the Associate Dean for Clinical Services will prepare specific rules for appropriate acquisition, use, and disposal of all clinical supplies and materials, for appropriate and safe dress, arrangement, cleanliness, and waste disposal in the dental operatory and dental laboratory, and for safe practice of clinical dental and dental laboratory procedures.  These specific rules will incorporate recommendations of the Health and Safety Committee and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety,  which have been approved by the Dean.

The Blood borne Pathogens and Hazard Communication manuals describe these standards and be posted on the SOD website.  As a standard School of Dentistry reference, this document will be available to every department, research laboratory, dispensary, every dental laboratory, and be maintained on the School of Dentistry’s website (

This process will assure that all elements of clinical hazards control are being taught to students so they may be safe practitioners, not only in the clinics and dental laboratories of the School of Dentistry, but also when they enter into dental practice.

Principal investigators and their department chairs will be responsible for safe operation of their respective research laboratories and research facilities.  Principal Investigators will be guided by rules and guidelines found in the University Laboratory Safety Manual (PDF), the Biohazard Safety Manual (PDF),  and the Radiation Safety Manual (PDF)  of the University of Washington, and such other related rules and regulations as may apply.

Dean of UW SOD:

Joel Berg, Dean of the UW School of Dentistry
February 2, 2016