OSHA Lead: Your Ultimate Guide

OSHA Lead: Your Ultimate Guide

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If you’re looking for an Ultimate Guide for your OSHA Lead, you’ve come to the right place.

Of all the roles in your office, few are as essential as the OSHA Lead. The OSHA Lead is a position focusing on ensuring employee safety and practice success. 

What is the OSHA Lead?

As the OSHA Lead, you help maintain compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). OSHA compliance is not optional. It’s required by law! The law requires employers to ensure a safe workplace for employees. The OSHA Lead puts in place processes, paperwork, and strategies required for OSHA compliance.

As the OSHA Lead, you should have an understanding of office dynamics. You also need to be able to communicate with all employees. You’ll do best if you have an ability to follow instructions and an awareness of clinical interactions and needs.

The job is best suited for a thorough, meticulous person. As a team-player, your ability to communicate with others and think outside the box are critical. 

OSHA Paperwork

You ensure that all Written Safety Programs and the Hazardous Chemical Inventory are complete and updated annually. All employees should know where to access this paperwork.

You’ll ensure that employees adhere to the Exposure Control Plan. You also make sure that each employee knows the details of the Emergency Action Plan, including an evacuation map.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)

The Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is a required aspect of OSHA compliance. It’s your job to review and update them annually for each role. The JHA results help you decide what personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety training each employee needs.

OSHA Safety Meetings

OSHA requires high-risk fields, including dentistry, to have brief monthly OSHA Safety Meetings. You schedule these meetings and ensure that employees attend them. 

OSHA Training

All employees need to complete OSHA training initially (before starting the job) and annually. The OSHA Lead monitors the training status of each employee, and reports training status to the Practice Owner or Manager.


You are responsible for maintaining daily, weekly, monthly, and annual documentation of all OSHA tasks. These tasks are focused on maintaining and testing office equipment, such as the eyewash station and fire extinguisher. 

Fire Drills

As the OSHA Lead, you arrange and conduct two fire drills each year. 


You are responsible for creating and enforcing Infection Control protocols. 

New OSHA Guidance

On August 13, 2021, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its new “Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.” The guidance helps employers with protecting their unvaccinated employees.

Employers can also reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading by:

  • Facilitating vaccinations for employees. This includes granting paid time off for getting and recovering from the vaccine, adopting policies requiring employees get vaccinated (or wear a mask and get tested if they choose to remain unvaccinated), and providing information to employees on how to obtain a vaccination.
  • Telling workers who are infected or who have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 to stay home from work until the worker has tested negative or quarantined for 14 days.
  • Implementing physical distancing in all communal spaces. This can be done by staggering start times, offering work-from-home options, or placing physical barriers between workstations.
  • Providing workers with face coverings or surgical masks and requiring them to be worn.
  • Maintaining ventilation systems to increase airflow in the workspace or using portable air cleaners with High Efficiency Particulate Air filters.
  • Performing routine cleaning and disinfection.

Legal Challenges to Vaccine Mandates

  • OSHA suggests that employers consider adopting policies that require workers to get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing – in addition to mask wearing and physical distancing – if they remain unvaccinated. In general, employers, including both public and private employers, can require employees who physically enter the worksite to be vaccinated for COVID-19. While it is likely such mandates face legal challenges, at least one federal court has upheld a university’s vaccine mandate.1The federal court’s decision was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The Supreme Court declined to review the appellate court’s decision.
  • Indiana University is requiring all students and staff members on campus to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This requirement was recently challenged in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana where a federal judge upheld the mandate. In its opinion, the court noted the Supreme Court had previously ruled in 1905 that members of the public could be required to be vaccinated against smallpox and that numerous other vaccine mandates have survived legal challenges. Furthermore, the vaccine mandate offers exceptions for religious, medical, or ethical reasons. Moreover, students are not forced to take the vaccine, they each have the option to apply for an exemption or find a new school to attend.
  • This ruling builds on two earlier Supreme Court cases allowing for mandatory vaccinations with exemptions. First, in 1905, the Supreme Court upheld a requirement that each citizen of Massachusetts be vaccinated against smallpox. Second, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its prior decision in 1922 by upholding an ordinance that required school children to be vaccinated before attending public school.
  • Although in a university setting, this case is illustrative of how courts may rule on legal challenges to an employer’s vaccine mandate. The court notes students are not forced to take a vaccine, instead they can apply for an exemption or transfer. Private employers that offer similar exemptions will have a stronger argument that their vaccine mandate does not violate an employee’s constitutional rights.

Ready to be an OSHA Lead?

There’s a lot required of the OSHA Lead. Filling this role is an amazing opportunity to grow, improve, and further your career! 

If you need help with OSHA Compliance, Smart Training is here to make it easier for you. All our compliance solution packages – Platinum+ and Essentials – offer online OSHA training, OSHA Written Programs, compliance checklists, Job Hazard Analyses, and monthly safety and security meetings. With Platinum+, you’ll also get your own Compliance Adviser and a yearly compliance inspection.

We also have specialized training for the OSHA Lead and how to meet the requirements of the OSHA Written Programs.

As the OSHA Lead, you’ll be the liaison between your office and our compliance experts. Our Smart Training Team will always be here to help you if you have questions.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a demonstration with one of our Compliance Advisers.

Smart Training
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