Is it just me or did Easter come up pretty fast? People are calling and asking if we are open today and I am wondering why they would be asking that. Duh! It’s Good Friday. Life has been so crazy that I have forgotten to look at the calendar. Usually the house is decorated and there is plenty of notice from my wife and staff, but apparently it has been the same for them.
There are a couple of things going on in the lecture front. I didn't know if it was out yet, but Triodent (the ones that are sponsoring my lecture) have basically sold their USA distribution to Ultradent. So Triodent is now Ultradent. They said to me that as of May 1st, they couldn't honor any of their commitments.
I called Ultradent and asked them if they plan to honor Triodent’s commitments. And basically they said no. They politely said that they have to see me first. I can understand that, but it still stinks. Uh, well, I had about 6 lectures planned that they were supposed to pay me for. If I have to do a couple of lectures for free then so be it; I need the experience anyway.
But another trail got hot while all this was happening. Kuraray (whom I tried to start a relationship with before because I use their products every day) called me. Turns out they might want to sponsor me. They are sending their clinical director from Arizona and regional director from Atlanta to come see me speak in Tampa in a couple of weeks. And they want to have lunch. Uh oh. Oh my gosh - the pressure. I don't know if I am any good yet, considering I have given the lecture once. Well I have been working pretty hard on the lecture lately. I will let you know how it goes.
Today I want to talk to you about my experience with OSHA. I am going to come out and say it: I have been bad. I think you are supposed to have a staff member in charge of doing ALL things OSHA. In the last 5 years, we have had some staff turnover. People have retired, people who were part-time needed full-time. Now that the smoke has cleared, we began to realize that we have not done the things we need to do in a loooooonnnnnngggggg time. We called in a consultant (a past OSHA employee) to come into our office and get us back up to snuff before the hammer comes down on us.
A couple of things about this. This guy makes every infraction sound like a "they can shut you down" infraction. This office is 30 years old, and we have had the same electric plugs for 30 years. He wants us to change 30 regular plugs to GFI plugs because they are within 6 feet of water. We had to buy log books. We have to have paper employee files. We have to have everyone's immunizations on record and, according to him, they have to be under lock and key (and if you don't have the actual paper from the doctor you have to sign a form saying you swear to have the right immunization). We have to have an emergency exit route drawn up and posted. We all have to have completed a class so we know all this and we have to sign something saying that we all know where the log books are. We are apparently using the wrong kind of sharps containers (they have to be clear). We have to know who manufactures our red bags and their phone number and put it in the log book so OSHA knows we are using the right kind. All of the soap and cleaning supplies have to be labeled with a MSDS tag.
There has to be an eye washing station. We have one, but the caps covering the things are gone. He said we have to replace the caps. First question: Why? Second question: How the heck are we going to find caps for an eye washing station?
This little update is going to cost us over $2,000. I mean, changing 30 GFI plugs is going to be expensive. We had to buy all the appropriate log books. I have to pay for everyone to have the OSHA class. Arghhh!!!
I know OSHA is important. I know they are trying to make me safer and I know that I should be up to date on all this. But man, can they nick pick you to death. I can see how this would make some dentists say, “Just forget it .We’ll worry about it if they come.” My father has been doing this for 41 years and has never seen an OSHA rep (knock on wood).
And just when we are in the middle of all this, the fire chief comes around and starts inspecting our place for fire safety. We have to have a new sign out front to tell the firemen about the building. We have to change two EXIT signs that are not working properly. And we have two extinguishers that are almost out of date.
When I got into this business, all I wanted to do was help people. They never told me about this stuff in dental school.
Anyone have any "I'm going to shut you down" OSHA stories? Come on, misery loves company.
I hope you all have a blessed Easter.
Remember the reason for the season. Easter is a day where we celebrate Jesus dying for our sins (on Friday) and then rising from the dead (Sunday), essentially defeating death and opening up the gates of heaven for us. It is a great day in the Christian world (and, of course, there is lots of candy). It is the most meaningful holiday of the calendar for me. If you have any questions about Easter or want to contact me about anything, I am always available at Jgammichia@aol.com.