health and safety at work act 1974

this act protects staff in the workplace and creates risks assessments to eliminate or reduce any risks. the employer looks at the risk of:

  • cross infection
  • innoculation 
  • hazardous chemicals of infection
  • dental equipment cause injury

every employer must make sure that they have insurance, if they do not have insurance then it would be a breach of the act. 

if there was a leak that forms a puddle it would need to be reported to the practice manager so that it can be cleaned up and fixed, if nothing is done about it, it is a hazard and would also be a breach of the act. 

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COSHH (control of substances hazardous to health)

this creates a risk assessment on harmful chemicals and substances that are used in the practice so that they do not cause harm and do't go out of control.

if a substance has a symbol on it that shows that it is hazadous and could effect someones health then it would be put in the coshh folders where it would have its symbol, what ppe to wear and the effcts of the substance. 


  • hazardous substances
  • how high the risk and nature and who is at risks
  • prevent or control risk
  • staff must be aware of risk

if there was a mercury spillage you would need to report it so that the spillage can be taken care of. 

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what products the symbols would be found

harmful- harmful or irritant

toxic- this can be found on amalgam, it would need to be stored in a cool location, wearing appropriate ppe so that it would not be inhaled or absorbed. 

corrosive- it would be found in acid etch, it can cause burns to the skin.

explosive- there are no products in dentistry that is explosive

flammable- found in a gas canaster or tray adhesive 

oxidising- found in the oxygen cylinder, it can make a fire worse

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enviromental protection act 1990

  • enviromental protection act 1990
  • special waste and hazardous waste regulations 2005

the acts ensures that health care waste is managed and disposed of safely in the correct way.

waste must be stored in a sealed bin away from public acess, staff should be trained and have acsess to the policy. the duty of care is on the dentist

HTM 07-01 is for waste

a breach of the legislation would be puting sharp waste into the oragnge bag instead of the sharps bin and it would need to be taken out.

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ionising radiation (medical exposures) regulations

this act protects patients and employees when using x-rays, it ensures that there are regular checks on the equipment.

the controlled area of using equipment is 1.5m and the safety zone is 2m

next to the equipment there should be local rules that tell you the dosage, what to do if something goes wrong. 

x-rays can only be taken if there is justification, and x-rays dosage is reduced as much as possible and you must avoid retaking x-rays.

a breach of the legislation would be getting someone to hold the x-ray in place will the x-ray is being taken or positioning the x-ray without training. if someone where to hold the x-ray in place they would have to sign a consent form and wear appropriate clothing that protects them. 

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RIDDOR- reporting of injuries disases and dangerous occurances

  • any major accidents would need to be reported under RIDDOR to HSE these include:
  • major accidents like fracture of a spine, pelvis, loss of sight or a limb
  • diseases like HIV, legionella, HEP B and HEP C
  • dangerous occurances like an explosion of the autoclave or compressor and  an uncontrolled mercury spillage
  • injuries occured in the workplace the requires 7 days off work or 24 hours in hospital
  • violent assults or attacks would be reported to the police

Minor acidents are not serious and are likely to happen are not reported to RIDDOR, they go into the acident book

major acidents are reported under RIDDOR 

a breach would be not reporting a major acident, if it is not reported then you would have to tell your practice manager to report it, if it is still not reported then you can report it. 

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