Health & Safety

Safety Officer

The Safety Officer is the Registered Manager, unless indicated otherwise by a notice on them a in staff notice board of the establishment.

The responsibilities of the Safety Officer are to:

  • Maintain safety records;

  • Investigate accidents;

  • Provide accident statistics;

  • Keep a watching brief on changing safety legislation.

  • The Safety Officer reports directly to the Registered Provider.

  • Full investigations of accidents will be carried out by the Safety Officer with a view to the prevention of future occurrences.

  • The Safety Officer is responsible for ensuring that the organisation’s obligations with respect to assessment, control and monitoring of hazardous substances are met.

  • The Safety Officer is responsible for the recording of accidents in accordance with RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013), by:

  • Ensuring that the Accident Reporting Policy and Procedure is followed, and that all accidents are recorded, using the form attached to that policy.

  • Ensuring that all accidents which result in absence from work for more than seven days (not including the date of the accident) are reported within 10 days to the Health and Safety Executive.

RIDDOR 2013 Reporting Requirements

Reportable incidents under RIDDOR 2013 are:

  • Death and injuries where:

  • The accident is work-related;

  • It results in an injury of a type which is reportable.

  • The types of reportable injuries are:

  • Death

  • Specified injuries, which are defined by the HSE as:

  • Fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes;

  • Amputations

  • Any condition likely to result in permanent loss of sight or visual impairment;

  • Any crush injury to the head or to r so causing damage to the brain or internal organs;

  • Serious burns (including scalding) which:

  • Cover more than 10% of the body;

  • Cause significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs.

  • Any scalping requiring hospital treatment;

  • Any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia;

  • Any other injury a rising from working in an enclosed space which:

  • Leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness;

  • Requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.

  • The following occupational diseases are reportable:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome;

  • Severe cramp of the hand or forearm;

  • Occupational dermatitis;

  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome;

  • Occupational asthma;

  • Tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm;

  • Any occupational cancer;

  • Any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.

  • Dangerous occurrences that require reporting are, for example:

  • The collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;

  • Plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines;

  • The accidental release of any substance which could cause injury to any person.

For full details of reporting requirements, go to the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/reportable-incidents.htm.

Contacts for the HSE, including for online reporting at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/contact.htm.

Practice Manager (where this differs from the Registered Manager).

Where there is no designated Prive Clinics (TeethnGums) the Registered Manager fulfils this role.

The Prive Clinics (TeethnGums) has the responsibility to provide leadership and to promote responsible attitudes towards health and safety.

The manager will:

  • Ensure that each new employee is given induction training, including the precautions and procedures appropriate to their specific jobs. All new members of staff will be shown the location of first aid boxes, fire exits and fire-fighting equipment;

  • Ensure that all sub ordinates are aware of the health and safety policy (a copy is on the organisation’s notice boards);

  • Keep up to date with health and safety matters applicable to the operations of the organisation;

  • Investigate all accidents with the assistance of the Safety Officer, with a view to prevention of a further occurrence;

  • Ensure that good housekeeping standards are applied;

  • Review periodically all new and existing equipment with reference to mechanical and operational safety and, in particular the location of all equipment bearing in mind all health and safety factors;

  • Carry out regular safety checks and audits.


Supervisors have the responsibility to provide leadership and to promote responsible attitudes towards health and safety. Supervisors must ensure that all tasks carried out in their sections are performed with the utmost regard for the health and safety of all those involved, and all accidents must be reported immediately to the Practice manager or Registered Manager.

Particular regard will be paid to:

  • Equipment and its usage to ensure that it is safe and do not endanger health;

  • Provision of safety arrangements for the handling, storage and movement of materials, equipment and substances;

  • Supplying sufficient information, instructions, training and supervision such as to enable employees to avoid hazards and contribute positively to their own health and safety at work;

  • Regular inspection of equipment such as lighting, passageways, fire alarms, fire escapes, fire extinguishers, first aid facilities and work practices, in order to ensure their efficiency and maintenance.


All employees have a responsibility to do every thing they can to prevent injury to themselves, their fellow employees and others affected by their actions or omissions at work.

They are expected to follow company procedures, in particular to report any incidents which have or may have led to injury or damage. For the Health and Safety Executive to neglect this responsibility can lead to prosecution.


Any employee who is faced with a conflict between the demands of safety and their job should raise the matter immediately with the Supervisor.


Administrative Arrangements

The following statements are an overview, and most areas for health and safety management are amplified by further policies and procedures elsewhere in this management system.


Risk Assessment

The Safety Officer will regularly review all are as in use by the organisation, or in which its workers work, to:

  • Identify risks;

  • Assess the risk;

  • Evaluate the risk;

  • Eliminate the risk where appropriate;

  • Introduce control measures to reduce risks, to a reasonable level, where appropriate;

  • Develop or locate, and arrange delivery of appropriate training to reduce risk, to a reasonable level, where appropriate.

The Safety Officer will carry out a generic risk assessment whenever workers:

  • Begin work in a new area.

  • Begin work in a new building, or building type, in an existing area.

  • Have or raise an issue in an area or building which they are already working in.

  • The Safety Officer will carry out a risk assessment on new equipment brought into the establishment.

Reporting Accidents

  • In the event of an accident causing injury, you must ensure that the injured person is being cared for and send immediately for a supervisor or first-aider.


  • Report the full details to the Practice manager who will record the incident in the accident book.

  • There cord will be regularly inspected by the Safety Officer. The accident will be reported to the inspecting authority as and when necessary.

  • Any “near miss” incident which occurs should also be reported to your immediate supervisor who will be responsible for making a report to the Practice manager.

  • All accidents will be investigated by the Practice manager and the Safety Officer.

  • Are port will be made to the Registered Provider, via the Management Meeting, who will ensure that necessary action is taken to prevent recurrence.

First Aid

  • During the induction programme employees will be shown the location of the nearest first aid box to their work area.

  • The organisation will ensure that sufficient employees are trained as first aid specialists to provide coverage on all shifts.

  • The identity of designated first aid specialists will be noted by clear notices complying with the recommended format displayed at all workstations and staff are as throughout the establishment.


  • Fire exits must be kept clear from obstruction.

  • All employees must know their evacuation route and assembly point in case of fire.


  • Immediately use the nearest fire alarm call point.

  • Leave the building and go to the nearest assembly point.


  • The senior person on duty will be responsible for calling the Fire Services.

  • Report immediately to the staff assembly point, which is displayed by the fire alarm panel in your building.



  • Follow the instructions of the person in charge, who is fully in charge of all staff and persons on the premises until the Fire Service arrives.

  • If told to leave the building, do not re-enter the building until instructed by your senior supervisor or the Fire Service.


Good Housekeeping – General

  • Undue hurrying and forget fullness cause many accidents. Do not rundown steps. Use handrails going up or downstairs.

  • Watch out for someone coming round a blind corner or opening doors quickly.

  • Never read while walking.

  • Ensure that floor areas are well lit and kept clear of obstruction.

  • When floors are sprayed or washed, the area must be covered by a visible wet floor sign until the area has been dried. After the area has dried, the sign must be removed to store as soon as possible.

Good Housekeeping – Offices

  • Leaving a lower filing drawer open can cause many trips and falls. Please make sure they are closed.

  • Electrical, computer and telephone cords must not be allowed to lie uncovered on the floor and should be taped down, since they are major tripping hazards.

  • Spilled coffee or soft drinks, tracked-in rain, leaves or snow should be cleaned up immediately.

  • Pointed objects such as pencils, pens, letter openers, files and the like must be used carefully to avoid puncture wounds.

  • Horseplay, including throwing paper clips, shooting rubber bands, tossing objects out of windows, is unacceptable behavior, and may be the subject of disciplinary procedure.

Electrical Equipment

  • Electrical equipment is normally safe, provided it is properly installed and regularly monitored.

  • Always remember that water and liquids are conductors of electricity, and be aware that their association with faults caused by, for example, damaged cables, flexes, plugs and sockets, the overloading of circuits and fuses, etc. would make the shock more severe.

  • Therefore, you should:


NEVER touch electrical equipment with wet hands, move any portable electrical equipment without disconnecting it from the mains, make electrical repairs or do other electrical work unless you are an authorised person.

KEEP electrical supply cables and flexes away from wet areas or from where they will be damaged by being walked over or knocked when moving equipment about.

ALWAYS switch off all equipment when not required, except for continuous operation;

Disconnect electrical equipment at night by removing the plug from the socket, again unless continuous operation is necessary and/or instructed otherwise.

Report defective equipment to the Registered Manager.

Moving and Handling

  • Staff must not carry out moving and handling operations unless the operation has been assessed for risk, an opinion has been formed and recorded by an appropriate person, a recommended handling technique identified, and the technique communicated to all staff.

  • Moving and handling form part of the induction training where general guidelines are given on the prevention of back injury and the importance of risk assessment of both individual lifting/handling operations and environmental consideration.

  • Staff who find themselves alone with a patient who has been assessed as requiring two people to lift/move should never attempt this operation alone.

Transmittable Diseases

When performing hands-on personal care with patients, full protective measures (gloves, aprons etc.) should be taken in order to eliminate any risk of cross-infection.

Infection Control

Infection control training is incorporated in induction training.

Causes of Infection

Bacteria – Unicellular microorganisms are susceptible to antibiotics (to varying degrees);

Worms – Not always microscopic in size, but pathogenic worms do cause infection and can spread from person to person.

Viruses – Smaller than bacteria, but not susceptible to antibiotics. A few anti-viral drugs are active against some viruses. They grow inside the cells of the body and can survive outside the body for a limited amount of time.

Pathogenic Fungi – Can be either moulds or yeast. A common example of a mould would be Trichophyton rubrum, which can be a cause of ringworm. A common example of yeast is thrush, caused by Candida albicans.

Prionss – Infectious misfolded protein particles, such as the prion causing (New) Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a degenerative neurological disorder.

Protozoa-Microscopic organisms larger than bacteria. Free-living and non-pathogenic protozoa include amoebae and paramecium. A good example would be Giardia Iamblia which can cause symptoms of diarrhoea.

Prevention of Cross-Infection

To prevent cross-infection, ensure that:

  • Any infection a patient has does not spread to others;

  • The patient is not exposed to potential sources of infection in his/her surroundings;

  • Others do not bring infection to the Practice.

Notifiable Diseases

  • The Health Services and Public Health Act 1968, the Public Health (infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988 and subsequent amendments require certain infectious diseases to be notified to the ‘proper officer’ of the Local Authority.

  • The responsibility for the notification of the listed disease(s) rests with the dentist attending the patient.

  • The Local Authority has the power to stop work in order to prevent the spread of infection:

  • Diseases notifiable under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984: Cholera, Plague, Smallpox, Relapsing Fever, Typhus, and Food Poisoning.

  • Diseases notifiable under the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988:

  • Acute encephalitis, acute poliomyelitis, anthrax, diphtheria, dysentery, leprosy, leptospirosis, malaria, measles, meningitis, meningococcal, septicemia, mumps, ophthalmia, neonatorum, paratyphoid fever, rabies, rubella, scarlet fever, tetanus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, viral hemorrhagic fever, viral hepatitis, whooping cough and yellow fever.

  • Most outbreaks will present non-specific symptoms; serious sepsis or epidemic wound infections.

  • Any member of staff suspecting an outbreak of the notifiable disease should make their suspicions known to the Practice manager who will inform the Registered Provider and “proper officer” of the Local Authority.

General Rules to Prevent the Spread of Infection

All staff should adhere to the following:

  • Avoid infection by careful control of coughing and sneezing, i.e., use tissues / handkerchief.

  • Hand washing using liquid soap containing a disinfectant.

  • Regular use of emollient hand cream to prevent skin from drying; Use of disinfecting hand rubs.

  • Gloves must be worn for all clinical procedures and treated as single use items. They must be put on prior to contact with the patient and removed as soon as the clinical treatment is complete. The gloves must then bed is posed of like clinical waste.

  • Protective glasses, ideally with side protection, should be worn by operators and close support clinical staff, to protect their eyes. Patient’s eyes must also be protected. Masks or visors are recommended for all operative procedures and should be changed after every patient.

  • Removal of jewelry and watches.

  • Keep hair short or tied back.

  • Wear clean uniform clothing, and do not travel to or from work in that clothing. Long sleeved gowns/uniforms should be avoided as they are more likely to lead to contamination. Short sleeved gowns/uniforms are more suitable, allowing the forearms to be washed as part of the hand washing routine

  • Report any signs of infection to the appropriate person.

  • Keep toilets scrupulously clean using correct disinfectant agents.

  • Ensure that the surgery design has two separate areas, one for the operator and one for the dental nurse, each with a washbasin, which should have elbow or foot-operated taps and liquid soap dispensers.

  • The operator’s area must have access to the turbines, three-in-one syringe, slow hand piece, bracket table and operating light. The dental nurse’s area will contain the suction lines, curing light, all cabinetry containing dental materials and a designated area for clinical wasted is posaland the decontamination of instruments.

  • Decontamination of instruments should, where possible, be completed away from the surgery room, in a space containing the ultrasonic bath(s), autoclave(s), instrument washer(s), sinks and a separate hand basin. If instruments are cleaned manually before sterilisation, then the sink must be deep enough to ensure that the instruments are fully within water during cleaning to minimise any splashing.

  • All instruments, whether used for treatment or not, should be considered contaminated and therefore cleaned and sterilised following usage. Follow all instructions issued by the manufacturer on the decontamination process.

  • Clean and dirty areas within the surgery must be clearly defined.

  • The surgery should be well ventilated.

  • Floor coverings should be impervious and non-slip. Carpeting must not be used.

  • Work surfaces should be impervious and easy to clean and disinfect.

  • All water lines and air lines should be fitted with anti-retraction valves to help prevent contamination of the lines.

  • All waste with in the Practice should be segregated into clinical and non-clinical waste, with the relevant procedures followed at all times.

  • Blood spillages should be dealt with immediately.

  • All clinical staff should be vaccinated against common illnesses. All staff involved in clinical procedures must be vaccinated against Hepatitis B.

Staff Skin Awareness

  • All cuts and abrasions should be covered with a waterproof adhesive dressing. Early detection and prompt reporting of infection is particularly important.

  • Any staff member with a skin infection must take advice from a doctor before continuing to work. All skin infections must be reported to the Registered Manager.

Staff Sickness

Diarrhoea and vomiting workers should not operate, nor report sickness. Should the condition persist it may be necessary to provide a specimen of faeces and not return to work until medical clearance by a GP is given. It cannot be emphasised strongly enough that young children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to infection, and every attempt should be made to minimise any risk of infection.

If a staff member is having any symptoms of COVID 19 such as high temperature, a new, continuous caught; a loss or change to sense of smell or taste must self-isolate and request a COVID-19 test.

If the test is negative, they can return to work as soon as they are symptoms free.

If they test is positive, they should self-isolate for 14days.

Skin Infections

  • Report any patient with a rash or unaccountable mark on his / her body to your doctor.

Blood Borne Viruses

  • Any patient may be a carrier of a blood borne virus. There is blood-borne viruses other than hepatitis B, other hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. Appropriate precautions must therefore be taken with all patients and particularly with body fluids.

  • Always assume that blood and other body fluids are infected. All accidents, facial, particularly eye, or wound contact with infected body fluids must be recorded as an incident.

  • Accident avoidance measures should include common sense precautions to avoid accidents and injuries, particularly when using sharps, whether the patient is known to be infected or not. All accidents must be reported.

Blood spillage procedure should be as follows:

  • Cover the blood spillage with disposable towels, which are then treated with 10,000ppm sodium hypochlorite solution or by sodium dichloride is ocyanurate granules.

  • Allow at least 5 minutes to pass before clearing away the paper towels. Dispose of as clinical waste.

  • The dental health care worker who deals with the spillage must wear appropriate protective clothing, including house hold gloves, protective eye wear and a disposable apron. In cases of extensive floor spillage, protective footwear.

  • Good ventilation is necessary.

Emergency Situations

In case of being faced with emergency situations such as relating to gas, electricity, water, fire or medical issues, stay calm, assess the situation, and raise alarm by contacting 999, depending on the emergency. Emergency situations will form part of your induction program.

Major Injuries

  • Fracture of the skull, pelvis and any bone in the arm or leg, but not bones in the hand or foot.

  • Amputation of a hand or foot or of fingers thumbs or toes where the bone or a joint is completely severed.

  • Loss of sight in an eye or a penetrating injury or a chemical or hot metal burn to an eye.

  • Injury requiring medical treatment or loss of consciousness due to electric shock.

  • Lost consciousness because of lack of oxygen.

  • Decompression sickness.

  • Acute illness believed to be the result of exposure to a pathogen or infected materials.

  • Any other injury that results in the person being admitted to hospital for more than 24 hours.

  • Any incident in which a dangerous substance being conveyed by road and involved in a fire or where there is an uncontrolled release or escape of dangerous substances.

  • Any incident where the respiratory apparatus malfunctions in such a way that the wearer is deprived of oxygen.

  • Any incident in which plant or equipment comes into contact with overhead power lines exceeding 200 volts.

  • Prescribed diseases and certain poisoning.

  • Some skin diseases including: occupational asthma, farmers lung, pneumoconiosis, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

  • The following infections: leptospirosis, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and anthrax, any illness caused by a pathogen.

COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health)

  • COSHH forms part of your induction training and should be incorporated into the individual Patient’s risk assessment.

  • For COSHH purposes, a material is deemed to be hazardous if one or more of the following criteria are met;

  • Substances defined as being highly toxic, poisonous, corrosive or irritant;

  • Substances for which maximum exposure limit(MEL) is specified in the COSHH schedule; A micro-organism hazardous to health;

  • Substances airborne as concentrations of dust;

  • Any other substances, which create comparable hazards.

Safety Rules for the Use of Household Cleaning Agents

  • Handle all household cleaning agents with care. Remember they contain powerful chemicals.

  • Always wear protective clothing (overalls, rubber gloves).

  • Always read the instructions on the label of the product to be used.

  • If the drug is uncertain, or the chemical is thought to be in the wrong bottle, do NOT use it

  • NEVER MIX chemicals, especially bleach and toilet cleaner.

  • Make sure that the ventilation is adequate. DO NOT use chemicals in a confined space.

  • NEVER SMOKE whilst using chemicals.

  • Store all chemicals in a cool dry place after use.

  • Store all chemicals out of reach of children but not on high shelves. Keep away from heat.

  • NEVER place chemicals in other containers. If a container is broken, discard it with its contents.

  • AEROSOLS must be:

  • Kept away from heat;

  • Never punctured;

  • Never used near a naked flame or heat;

  • Avoid breathing the vapour;

  • Used in a well ventilated room.

  • Be careful when throwing away chemicals.

  • Be sure they are in a safe condition and that no one else will be harmed by them.

  • Never throw away metals couring pads with discarded batteries– they can smolder and cause a fire.


Safe systems of work

To help give a better picture regarding the health and safety of employees in the workplace, a list of the common areas where risks and hazards occur is shown below. It shows the areas/appliances that may present a hazard or risk, the types of accident/injury they may cause and the appropriate action that should be taken by dental practice staff.


Working at heights/reaching etc.:

  • Avoid working at height where possible.

  • Use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where employees/other workers on site cannot avoid working at height.

  • Where the risk of a fall cannot be eliminated, use work equipment or other measures to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, should one occur.

  • Risk-assess all situations where by working at heights is unavoidable. Provide suitable training for those working at heights.

  • Provide suitable equipment.

Employees and other workers on site will:

  • Not work at heights without ensuring that the Practice managerhas authorised the action, after carrying out a risk assessment, and that the employee/other worker has been trained to work at height and has appropriate equipment for doing so.

  • Not attempt to obtain items which are beyond their reach. If they cannot reach, they should get a ladder or stepping stool. Be sure that the ladder is in a safe condition.

  • Not use chairs, open drawers, or any makeshift device for climbing.

  • Not climb up the shelves themselves. They should not over reach on the ladder. It is safer to get down and move the ladder.


Smoking is only allowed in designated areas.


  • Floors must be kept free of obstruction.

  • Spillages of fluids must be immediately mopped up, and wet floors clearly marked. Damage to floors must be reported immediately.


  • Stairs must be kept clear of obstruction.

  • Inflammable materials will not best oredinast air well. Damage to stairs must be reported immediately.


  • Non-functioning lighting must be reported immediately.


When windows to floors other than the ground floor are opened, the opening restraint mechanism, which is intended to ensure that the window will not open enough to allow a person to fall through, will be checked.


  • Doors must not be obstructed from closing. Damage to fire doors must be reported immediately.


  • Damage to, or malfunction of, lifts must be reported immediately. Lifts will not be used during a fire alarm.


  • Damage to gas installations, or a smell of gas, must be reported immediately.

  • Cases of headache, unusual tiredness and muscular weakness experienced in rooms containing a gas appliance must be reported immediately.


This method applies only to issues, disagreements or complaints over occupational health and safety.

In case of the above, the employees will refer the matter to the Practice manager either orally or in writing.

If employees are dissatisfied with the outcome or in the event of there being a real danger of death, serious injury or health risk and there is insufficient time to eliminate excessive danger, staff should immediately report to the Registered Provider who will investigate and determine what action should be taken.

After the investigation, the employee will be informed that either:

  • The organisation has, so far as is reasonably practicable, eliminated the danger and employees must resume normal working; or

  • The organisation does not consider that the matter constitutes a grave risk to health or safety, and employees must resume normal working; or

  • The organisation will undertake further investigation and may, if necessary, obtain expert opinion.

Employees will then be suspended on full pay or be transferred to alternative work whilst the investigation takes place.

Refusal to resume normal working when instructed will be a breach of organisation discipline. The matter will then be dealt with under the organisation’s normal disciplinary procedure.


The organisation will undertake further precaution to make work and workplace COVID-19 secure.

  • Risk assessments – The organization must update the risk assessment to manage the risk of corona virus (COVID-19) in the business. This will help the organization to understand what should to work safely and protect people. A COVID-19 screen questionnaire must be carrying out on each staff member and patient every day.

  • Social distancing – Where possible the people should be keeping 2 meters apart. If this is not viable, keeping 1 meter apart with risk mitigation is acceptable.

  • Cleaning, hygiene and hand washing – Keeping the workplace clean and frequent hand washing reduces the potential for corona virus to spread. It is a critical part of making and keeping the business COVID-19 secure by providing hand washing and scrubbing sinks for people.

  • Talk to staff members and provide training – All staff members need to undergo training in regards with COVID 19 and learn how to operate safely

  • Working from home– If the staff members can work from home the organization should provide them with equipment they need and also to keep in touch with them regularly to ensure their wellbeing.

  • Vulnerable workers – The organization must ensure they are carry out risk assessment to identify the workers who are particularly vulnerable to corona virus and put controls in place to reduce the risk.

This Policy will be updated annually or when the new guidelines are released.

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