Bloodborne Pathogens and Needlestick Prevention
This section highlights directives (instruction to OSHA staff) and letters of interpretation (official letters of interpretation of the standards) related to bloodborne pathogens and needlestick prevention.
OSHA Directives; Instructions to OSHA staff
- Rules of agency practice and procedure concerning OSHA access to employee medical records. CPL 02-02-072, (August 22, 2007). Provides guidance concerning application of the rules of agency practice and procedure when accessing personally identifiable employee medical records.
- UPDATED Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. CPL 02-02-069 [CPL 2-2.69], (November 27, 2001). Includes revisions mandated by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act.
- Appendix D, Model Exposure Control Plan. Includes a model exposure control plan that meets the requirements of OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and can be tailored to meet the specific requirements of an establishment.
- Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis (PDF). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 50(RR11);1-42, (June 29, 2001). Updates and consolidates recommendations for the management of health-care personnel (HCP). Serves as Appendix E for CPL 02-02-069.
- Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 54(RR09);1-17, (September 30, 2005). Updates U.S. Public Health Service recommendations for the management of health-care personnel (HCP) who have occupational exposure to blood and other body fluids that might contain human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- Multi-Employer Citation Policy. CPL 02-00-124 [CPL 2-0.124], (December 10, 1999).
OSHA Enforcement Letters of Interpretation
- Compliance with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030. (February 27, 2009).
- Clarification of the use and selection of BBP safety devices. (May 5, 2008).
- Applicability of OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard to the containment and disposal of electric razors in correctional facilities and health care settings. (January 2, 2008).
- Clarification of PPE requirements for phlebotomists performing venipunctures in hospital setting and/or rural outpatient clinics. (October 26, 2007).
- The applicability of OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standards to the use of sharps containers on hospital crash carts. (June 14, 2007).
- Application of OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens standard to contractors who clean up blood following accidents. (May 22, 2007).
- Requirements for safety-engineered sharps for stockpiled pandemic influenza vaccines and pre-filled syringes. (March 2, 2007).
- The use of safety-engineered devices and work practice controls in operating rooms; hospital responsibility to protect independent practitioners under BBP standard. (January 18, 2007).
- Use of rapid HIV antibody testing on a source individual after an exposure incident. (January 8, 2007).
- Periodic serologic testing to monitor antibody concentrations after completion of the hepatitis B vaccine three-dose series is not recommended. (November 9, 2005).
- Safety precautions, PPE, and immunizations for workers in waste water treatment facility. (September 13, 2005).
- Containment and disposal requirements for disposable razors used in long-term health care facilities for personal grooming. (March 28, 2005).
- Needle removal procedures for situations where other methods of disposal are infeasible or required by a specific procedure. (December 9, 2004).
- Limiting factors for implementing the use of engineering controls, i.e., safety scalpels, under the Bloodborne Pathogens standard. (September 1, 2004).
- Bloodborne Pathogens Standard application to bifurcated needles; acceptability and appropriateness of safety bifurcated needles. (May 27, 2004).
- Employer's responsibility to re-evaluate engineering controls, i.e., safer needle devices, at least annually. (January 20, 2004).
- Acceptable use of antiseptic-hand cleansers for bloodborne pathogen decontamination and as an appropriate handwashing practice. (March 31, 2003).
- Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act and the requirement to include safety-engineered sharps devices in pre-packaged surgical kits and trays. (February 20, 2003).
- Evaluation of sutureless catheter securement devices to prevent needlestick hazards. (January 23, 2003).
- Safer medical devices must be selected based on employee feedback and device effectiveness, not Group Purchasing Organizations. (November 21, 2002).
- Application of the bloodborne pathogens standard to veterinary clinics. (October 15, 2002).
- Re-use of blood-tube holders. (June 12, 2002).
January 2010 – December 2020
Note: all citations refer to a workplace where the employer has employees with reasonably anticipated exposure to bloodborne pathogens during the performance of their work duties. The citation locations refer to sections of 29 CFR 1910.1030.
- [1910.1030(c)(1)(i)] - Establishment of a written Exposure Control Plan
- [1910.1030(g)(2)(i)] - Employee training program
- [1910.1030(c)(1)(iv)] - Review and update Exposure Control Plan
Note: This review must reflect changes in technology and document annual consideration and implementation of safer medical devices.
- [1910.1030(f)(1)(i)] - Availability of HBV vaccination, post-exposure evaluation and follow-up
- [1910.1030(d)(2)(i)]- Use of engineering and work practice controls