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 https://www.osha.gov.

September 6, 1991

Mr. Daniel Evans
Safety Officer
Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance
and First Aids Corps, Inc.
4623 Avenue N
Brooklyn, New York 11234

Dear Mr. Evans,

This is in response to our letter of August 21, which requested confirmation of a telephone conversation you had with a member of my staff. You were correctly informed that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) jurisdiction, as mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, extends only to employers and the protection of employees. Wholly volunteer organizations such as yours, in which members receive no monetary or other compensation for their services, do not fall under OSHA's purview.

While OSHA is not in a position to require that your members be offered the hepatitis B vaccine free of charge, we strongly recommend that your organization do so, in accordance with sound health policy. Your members are clearly exposed to blood and other potentially infectious material on a routine basis and under emergency conditions and deserve the protection conferred by the vaccine.

We hope this information is responsive to your concerns.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs

August 21, 1991

Ms. Patricia K. Clark
Directorate of Compliance Programs
U.S. Department of Labor/O.S.H.A.
Room 3469
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Ms. Clark:

On this date I spoke with a representative of your office regarding the OSHA requirement of Hepatitis B vaccination availability for health care workers.

I was informed that this requirement does not encompass wholly voluntary ambulance organizations where the members receive "no compensation, remuneration, payment," or other "quid pro quo" for the service they provide. I was further advised that your legal department determined that this "altruistic" service therefore defines our members as non- employees, and as such we are not under the purview of this OSHA regulation.

This is significant because it means that we are not mandated to provide the Hepatitis B vaccination to our members, even though we will probably make it available anyway.

I am writing to you in order to request a letter from your office stating what I was advised over the phone, ie., we are under no legal obligation from OSHA to provide the vaccination to our members.

If you have any questions or require any additional information please feel free to contact me at the number below.

Thank you for your cooperation in this important matter.

Yours truly,

Daniel Evans
Safety Officer