- Standard Number:
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 3, 1992
Leslie Hodge Vice President,
Amserv Nurses, Inc.
3252 Holiday Court
La Jolla, California 92037
Dear Ms. Hodge:
This is in response to your letter of January 31, requesting a clarification regarding the applicability of 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens" to your nursing personnel service. We apologize for the delay in this response.
You state in your letter that your company "provides nursing personnel on an as-needed/as-available basis to health care facilities. We are not a health care facility ourselves, but rather a personnel service. The temporary nursing employees are on our payroll, and charges for their services billed to the facility."
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers personnel providers, such as your company, which send their own employees to work at other facilities, to be employers whose employees may be exposed to hazards. Since it is your company, Amserv Nurses Inc., which maintains a continuing relationship with its employees, but another employer (your client) who creates and controls the hazards, there is a shared responsibility for assuring that your employees are protected from workplace hazards. The client employer has the primary responsibility for such protection, but the "lessor employer" (Amserv Nurses) likewise has a responsibility under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
In the context of OSHA's standard on bloodborne pathogens, Amserv Nurses would be required to provide generic training in universal precautions and to ensure that employees are provided with the required vaccinations and the proper followup evaluation is provided following an exposure incident. Your clients would be responsible for providing site-specific training and personal protective equipment and would have the primary responsibility to control potential exposure conditions. The client, of course, may specify what qualifications are required for supplied personnel, including vaccination status. It is certainly in the interest of the lessor employer to ensure that all steps required under the standard have been taken by the client employer to ensure a safe and healthful workplace for the leased employees. To that end, your contracts with your clients should clearly describe the responsibilities of both parties in order to ensure that all requirements of the regulation are met.
Please bear in mind that employers in the state of California are regulated by the California Department of Industrial Relations whose occupational safety and health program may have requirements that are more stringent than that of federal OSHA's. Should you wish to contact them, they may be reached at:
Ron Rinaldi, Director California Department of Industrial Relations 395 Oyster Point Boulevard South San Francisco, California 94080 Telephone: (415) 737-2960
We hope this information is responsive to your concerns. If you have any further questions please contact our Regional bloodborne pathogens coordinator in Dallas at (214) 767-4731. Thank you for your interest in worker safety and health.
Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs