OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.
June 22, 1990
Mr. John A. Miller
Needles and Syringes
1831 Olive Street
St. Louis, MO 63103
Dear Mr. Miller:
This is in response to your letter of May 11, addressed to Jessica Sandler of my staff. You requested that she review the brochures describing your company's Monoject System of Safety and Monoject Safety Syringe.
As Ms. Sandler has discussed with you, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not endorse or approve any particular type of product or medical device. The current compliance directive (OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.44B: Enforcement Procedures for Occupational Exposure to Hepatitis B Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus) clarifies OSHA's prohibition against recapping and expressly allows that "resheathing instruments, self-sheathing needles, or forceps shall be used to prevent recapping needles by hand" (page 16). The type of self- sheathing needles described in your Monoject Safety Syringe brochure and the one-handed recapping method described in your Monoject System of Safety brochure are permitted under OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.44B. Of course, the final determination regarding compliance with OSHA's requirements in the area of bloodborne hazards must be made in the workplace by direct OSHA compliance officer observation of employee work practices while utilizing your product.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Patricia K. Clark Director
Designate Directorate of Compliance Programs