Scope and application | Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens
This paragraph defines the range of employees covered by the standard.
1. Since there is no population that is risk free for HIV, HBV or other bloodborne disease infection, any employee who has occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material will be included within the scope of this standard.
2. Although a list is included below of a number of job classifications that may be associated with tasks that have occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials, the scope of this standard is not limited to employees in these jobs. The hazard of exposure to infectious materials affects employees in many types of employment and is not restricted to the healthcare industry. At the same time, employees in the following jobs are not automatically covered unless they have the potential for occupational exposure:
§ Physicians, physician’s assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare employees in clinics and physicians’ offices;
§ Employees of clinical and diagnostic laboratories;
§ Housekeepers in healthcare and other facilities;
§ Personnel in hospital laundries or commercial laundries that service healthcare or public safety institutions;
§ Tissue bank personnel;
§ Employees in blood banks and plasma centers who collect, transport, and test blood;
§ Freestanding clinic employees (e.g., hemodialysis clinics, urgent care clinics, health maintenance organization (HMO) clinics, and family planning clinics);
§ Employees in clinics in industrial, educational, and correctional facilities (e.g., those who collect blood, and clean and dress wounds);
§ Employees designated to provide emergency first aid;
§ Dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and dental laboratory technicians;
§ Staff of institutions for the developmentally disabled;
§ Hospice employees;
§ Home healthcare workers;
§ Staff of nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
§ Employees of funeral homes and mortuaries;
§ HIV and HBV research laboratory and production facility workers;
§ Employees handling regulated waste;
§ Custodial workers required to clean up contaminated sharps or spills of blood or OPIM; Medical equipment service and repair personnel;
§ Fire fighters, law enforcement personnel, and correctional officers (employees in the private sector, or the Federal Government, or a state or local government in a state that has an OSHA-approved state plan);
§ Maintenance workers, such as plumbers in healthcare facilities and employees of substance abuse clinics.
3. Inspection guidelines. The scope paragraph of this standard states that it “applies to all occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials as defined by paragraph (b).” The compliance officer must take careful note of the definition of “occupational exposure” in paragraph (b) in determining if an employee is covered by this standard.
a. Part-time, temporary, and healthcare workers known as “per diem” employees are covered by this standard.
b. OSHA jurisdiction extends only to employees in the workplace. It does not extend to students if they are not also considered employees; to state, county, or municipal employees; to health care professionals who are sole practitioners or partners, or to the self-employed. However, the 26 OSHA-approved state plans must protect state and local government workers under an “at least as effective” state standard.
c. If an employee is trained in first aid and identified by the employer as responsible for rendering medical assistance as part of his/her job duties, that employee is covered by the standard. See the citation policy for paragraph (f)(2) of the standard below regarding designated first aid providers, who administer first aid as a collateral duty to their routine work assignments. An employee who routinely provides first aid to fellow employees with the knowledge of the employer may also fall, de facto, under this designation even if the employer has not officially designated this employee as a first aid provider.
d. Exposure to bloodborne pathogens in shipyard operations is covered under 29 CFR 1915.1030, which states that its requirements are identical to those in 29 CFR 1910.1030.
e. Other industries: The bloodborne pathogens standard does not apply to the construction, agriculture, marine terminal and longshoring industries. OSHA has not, however, stated that these industries are free from the hazards of bloodborne pathogens. For industries not covered by the bloodborne pathogens standard, Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act provides that “each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” The General Duty Clause should not be used to cite for violations of the bloodborne pathogens rule, but may be used to cite for failure to provide a workplace free from exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Section 5(a)(1) citations must meet the requirements outlined in the FIRM, OSHA Instruction CPL 2.103. Failure to implement all or any part of 29 CFR 1910.1030 should not be, in itself, the basis for a citation. Accordingly, 29 CFR 1910.1030 should not be specifically referenced in a citation.
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