Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

April 2, 1992

The Honorable Fred Upton
U.S. House of Representatives
421 Main Street St.
Joseph, Michigan 49085

Dear Congressman Upton:

Thank you for your letter of February 19 on behalf of your constituent Mr. Carl Oehling. Mr. Oehling's inquiry concerns the applicability of 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens", to his dry cleaning and laundromat business.

This standard applies to all employers of workers who have the potential to be occupationally exposed to bloodborne pathogens. The term "occupational exposure" is defined as reasonably anticipated contact with blood or other potentially infectious material that may result from the performance of an employee's duties.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) believes that some laundry workers are at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. These individuals may be employed in either hospital laundries or in commercial laundries that service healthcare, public safety, or other institutions where occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material occurs.

Without knowing the particulars of Mr. Oehling's business, OSHA cannot determine if his employees' job duties meet the definition of occupational exposure. It is the employer's responsibility to make that determination. However, under most circumstances, we would not expect employees of a dry-cleaning and laundromat business which services the general public to have occupational exposure as defined by this standard.

We hope this information is responsive to your concerns. Thank you for your interest in worker safety and health.


Dorothy L. Strunk
Acting Assistant Secretary

cc: Washington, D.C. Office

February 19, 1992

Director Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
Room N3641
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20010

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in regards to a question recently posed to my staff by my constituent, Carl Oehling. Mr. Oehling operates a dry cleaning and laundromat business.

Mr. Oehling would like to know if OSHA's "blood-borne pathogen standard" applies to laundromats and drop-off laundry facilities. He mentioned that the standard does refer to "linen services" and wonders if this would apply to his business.

It is my desire to be responsive to all inquiries from the people of the Fourth District of Michigan. Your providing a response to Mr. Oehling's question would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your assistance.

Very truly yours,

Fred Upton
Member of Congress