Annual OSHA CE requirement confusion

Annual OSHA CE requirement confusion

Posted by Dental Didactics CE on Apr 18th 2022

There has been much confusion regarding the difference between California state CE requirements for "Dental Infection Control" and "OSHA Review" courses. Hopefully this post will clarify the two different requirements.

The California Dental Board is the state agency that issues and regulates dental licenses for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. The Board requires that every licensed dental professional in California (DDS, DMD, RDH, RDA, etc.) complete a 2-hour dental continuing education course in "Infection Control" Infection Control course during each 2-year license renewal period. That course instructs each practitioner in the latest infection control procedures in dentistry to maintain professional standards and provide proper patient protection. Each individual licensed professional is personally responsible for taking that course every 2 years. Taking an "OSHA Review" course does NOT satisfy this licensing requirement.

Cal/OSHA, specifically the Division of Occupational Safety and Health for the State of California, requires that clinical dental employees in California take a 2-hour "OSHA Review" course OSHA Review course every year. This is an agency that is separate from the Dental Board and is tasked with maintaining employee health and safety in the workplace. Every dental employee that has clinical contact with patients or who may be exposed to contaminated or hazardous materials is mandated to take a 2-hour dental OSHA Review course annually. The responsibility for this requirement falls upon the employer, who must verify that they have provided the OSHA Review course for their employees and maintained documentation that every clinical employee (DDS, DMD, RDH, RDA, DA, etc) -whether licensed or not- has passed this course yearly. Taking an "infection control" course to maintain a dental license does NOT satisfy this OSHA requirement. 

Both courses are important components of maintaining proper professional infection control and safety protocols in the dental environment, for both patients and practitioners. Dental professionals need to take responsibility for ordering and passing the Infection Control course every 2 years. All dental employers need to take responsibility for providing the OSHA Review course for their employees each year. Many offices will order a copy of the OSHA course for each employee and complete the requirement together during an office in-service meeting. Other offices choose to order courses for each individual employee, distribute them, and have the employees complete the courses at their personal convenience and present their CE certificates to the employer individually for documentation.

The 2-hour dental OSHA Review is available on our website at Dental Didactics CE