Small Business Health and Safety Q&A: Dental Practices
calendar icon October 24th, 2019
author icon Carolyn Cuthbertson
Small Business Health and Safety Q&A: Dental Practices

October 20-26, 2019 is Small Business Week in Canada. Small Business Week is a national celebration of Canadian entrepreneurs and their important contribution to our economy.


This week, we’re reaching out to Ontario small businesses to get an inside look on implementing workplace health and safety programs in workplaces with less than 50 workers. 


Today, we’re profiling dental practices. PSHSA recently delivered a regional training session on Health and Safety Basics for Your Dental Clinic to 10 dental clinics. Here is what they had to say.


Q: What are some of the challenges your organization faces with being a small business and having to ensure compliance with occupational health and safety legislation, standards and guidelines?


As small businesses, our dental clinics experience challenges related to occupational health and safety and legislation due to lack of time and resources. Oftentimes we are unsure what legislation, standards and guidelines apply to us, and whether our current practices, policies or procedures are in compliance. Due to resource limitations, we are not often able to hire a dedicated person for health and safety, and therefore not aware when new legislation comes out or what resources or training is available. 


Q: How do you stay current in workplace health and safety?


We mostly stay up-to-date based on newsletters and information given out by the Ontario Dental Association (ODA). (PSHSA has collaborated with the ODA to provide content for their Health and Safety Programs Manual: A Guide for Dental Practices. ODA members can access this through their member log-in.)


Q: What would you advise a new small business owner, employer or supervisor about increasing their awareness of occupational health and safety?


Any new or existing dental practice should meet with their PSHSA Consultant who will be able to provide guidance on policies and procedures, and the latest news, tools, resources and updates on legislation. Dental practices can also learn a lot by attending training and awareness sessions to increase knowledge on workplace health and safety within the sector as well as by networking with other like organizations to discuss health and safety issues and updates.


PSHSA is here to support small businesses in understanding and complying with their occupational health and safety obligations. A variety of free resources is available on our Small Business page, including the Small Business Health & Safety Manual, fact sheets, templates and Ministry of Labour resources.


In November 2019, the WSIB is launching the new Health and Safety Excellence Program which will support small businesses to improve workplace health and safety, whether they are just getting started or want to optimize systems and processes already in place. Success in the program can lead to rebates and other non-financial recognition. For more information and to pre-register, click here.


Health & Safety Consultant
Public Services Health & Safety Association