WDA Disclaimer This Dental Action Plan has been developed by the Wisconsin Dental Association and is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed or understood as legal advice on any specific issue or issues. The contents of this publication are general in nature and cannot be relied upon for guidance in specific situations. You (the dentist) should consult with your attorney to determine how matters discussed in this plan may relate to your practice or situation.
THE WISCONSIN DENTAL ASSOCIATION, INC MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, WITH RESPECT TO THIS PLAN AND DOES HEREBY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES AS TO THE ACCURACY OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS MATERIAL, ITS APPLICABILITY TO ANY SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES OR SITUATION, OR ITS APPLICABILITY OR VALIDITY IN ANY PARTICULAR JURISDICTION. The Wisconsin Dental Association Inc. expressly disclaims any and all:
responsibility for opinion(s) expressed by the author and any inaccuracies, errors or omissions contained in these materials;
obligation to revise these materials at anytime in the future
The Dental Action Plan could not have been completed without the work of Dr. Lonnette Breneman and the Wisconsin Dental Association’s (WDA) Emergency Preparedness Committee. The authors of this Plan are proud to offer this document as a value added service to all WDA members.
2005-2006 WDA Emergency Preparedness Committee
Dr. Lonnette Breneman
An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) can help prepare doctors and staff for handling office and community emergencies through information gathering and sharing. Preparing ahead of time for emergencies can reduce or even eliminate the negative outcomes affecting you, your patients, your staff and your community.
An EAP also clarifies specific directions should your dental office wish to voluntarily assist in providing care in the event of a public health emergency. Local emergencies would require that dental offices integrate plans with state, regional and local public health agencies to ensure that all volunteer support is coordinated. As trained health care providers, oral health professionals can play a special role in providing many valuable emergency services. Such actions help your community while also improving the image of the dental profession. An EAP is a guideline for handling unplanned events that could disrupt your normal business operations. These events will vary for each individual office based on your mode of operation, geographic location and proximity to potential external threats. Emergencies could be a weather related event or a man-made (intentional or unintentional) event. The EAP may be written by one individual or by an EAP team depending on the dental office’s particular needs and the interest levels of individual staff. Hopefully, your EAP will never be needed. However, should something unforeseen happen, preplanning and employee training will lessen stress and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the response.
EMERGENCY ACTION AND FIRE PREVENTION PLANS:
All businesses should consider writing and implementing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and Fire Prevention Plan. However, not all businesses are required by OSHA to have a written plan. OSHA standard 1910.38 and 1910.39 regulates Emergency Action plans and Fire Prevention Plans. Employers with 10 or fewer employees may choose to have a plan that is only communicated verbally to employees. Employers with 10 or more employees, however, are required to have a written plan kept in the workplace and available to all employees. The Emergency Action Plan should contain at a minimum (OSHA regulation 1910.38(c)):
-Procedures for reporting an emergency. Contact information for local fire and police departments.
-Procedures for emergency evacuation, including exit route assignments
-Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation
-Procedures for employees performing rescue/medical services
-Name/job title of the person employees may contact for more information
-Shut off valves for gas lines.
The Fire Prevention Plan should contain at a minimum (OSHA reg. 1910.39(c)):
-Type of equipment necessary to control each major hazard
-Procedure to control accumulation of flammable/combustible waste
-Procedures for maintenance of heat-producing equipment safeguards
-Name of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent/control sources of fire/ignition
-Name of employees responsible for control of fuel source hazards
WORKPLACE ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL EMERGENCIES:
Each dental practice will need to assess its unique internal and external threats. Weather related natural events will vary based on geographic location. These may include tornado, hurricane, lightning strikes, earthquake, winter storms, floods, etc. Keep in mind that natural disasters may not directly impact your operations, but may influence you via water shortages or contamination, power outages or disrupted traffic flow. Your proximity to potential threats from neighboring businesses should also be evaluated; is there a possibility of a chemical spill, civil disturbance or explosion? Communication failures and fire are internal threats that will also need to be considered.
EVACUATION/SHELTER INPLACE PROCEDURES:
Which of the identified threats would require evacuation and which would require sheltering in place? Where are the primary and alternate meeting locations? Who is responsible for each part of the plan? Is a back up for each portion required? How will employees and patients be notified if an emergency occurs? How will you know if all employees and patients are clear of the building? Is someone responsible for keeping computer back up tape(s) or important financial records? Depending on the size of the office, a facility map may be necessary to show exit locations, handicap routes, shelter in place rooms, etc. OSHA regulation 1910.37 has specifications for emergency exit routes, emergency lightning and alarm systems.
V. TRAINING AND PLAN REVIEW: Every business must train employees to assist each other in an evacuation (OSHA regulation 1910.38 (e/f)). Employers must review the plan with employees when the plan is initially written and implemented, whenever the plan is modified and whenever an employee’s duties within the plan changes. In addition, the employer must review the EAP with each new employee after plan inception (OSHA reg. 1910.38 (f)).
Fire Prevention Plan training includes informing employees upon hire of potential work related fire hazards. An employee must be informed of self- protection protocols. (OSHA reg. 1910.29(d))
An annual review is recommended. Repeated training is less likely to be forgotten. The training and review sessions might include: