OSHA Standards and Enforcement
This section highlights OSHA standards, directives (instructions for compliance officers), and standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards) related to healthcare.
The General Duty Clause of the OSH Act (the law that created OSHA) requires employers to provide workers with a safe workplace that does not have any known hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious injury. Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.
Recent State Standards / Legislation
- Patient Handling legislation of various states (see Safe Patient Handling page)
Highlighted Federal Standards
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
- 1910.132, General requirements (Personal protective equipment) [related Safety and Health Topics page]
- 1910.133, Eye and face protection [related Safety and Health Topics page]
- 1910.134, Respiratory protection [related Safety and Health Topics page]
- 1910.1030, Bloodborne pathogens [related Safety and Health Topics page]
- 1910.1047, Ethylene oxide [related Safety and Health Topics page]
- 1910.1048, Formaldehyde [related Safety and Health Topics page]
- 1910.1096, Ionizing radiation [related Safety and Health Topics page]
- 1910.1200, Hazard communication [related Safety and Health Topics page]
- 1910.1450, Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories [related Safety and Health Topics page]
- Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. CPL 02-02-069 [CPL 2-2.69], (2001, November 27).
- Enforcement Procedures and Scheduling for Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis. CPL 02-00-106 [CPL 2.106], (1996, February 9).
- Search all available directives.
- With regard to respiratory protection for tuberculosis, employers must comply with all portions of the Respiratory Protection standard, including fit testing. (2008, March 24).
- Most frequently asked questions concerning the bloodborne pathogens standard. (Updated 2011, November 1).
- Search all available standard interpretations.
Frequently Cited Standards
- A listing of the most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA for Health Services Industry Group (SIC 80) is available.
For additional information, see:
- Occupational Asthma. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.
- Reproductive Hazards. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.
- Compliance Assistance Quick Start. OSHA. By following this step-by-step guide, you can identify many of the major OSHA requirements and guidance materials that may apply to your workplace. Small and new businesses may find Quick Start helpful as an introduction to the compliance assistance resources on OSHA's website.
- Health Care Industry. Applies to employers and employees in the health care field.