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.

June 11, 1992

Mr. Brett Ray
Mission Road Developmental Center
8706 Mission Road
San Antonio, Texas 78214-3144

Dear Mr. Ray:

This is in response to your letter on March 18, concerning the applicability of 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens", to your group home living program for mild to moderately retarded adults. We apologize for the delay in this response.

You state in your letter that your employees act as caregivers and "are primarily supervisory trainers who do not experience occupational exposure as defined in 1910.1030(b)", and you requested guidance concerning occupational exposure of your staff members.

The standard requires that the employer make the determination of which jobs and/or tasks and procedures involve occupational exposure. Those employees for whom it can be reasonably anticipated that they will have contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials during the course of their job duties are covered by all sections of the regulation, including the requirement to provide the hepatitis B vaccine free of charge to the covered employee.

In an ambulatory residential facility only certain employees may have jobs which involve occupational exposure. For example, those employees who are designated as responsible for rendering medical assistance should it be needed are to be covered by the protections of the standard. It may also be reasonable, in your facility, to consider the possibility of biting and scratching when determining which, if any, employees in your facility have occupational exposure.

OSHA expects to publish a booklet on bloodborne pathogens and long term care facilities in the near future which you will be able to obtain through our Publications Office at (202) 523-9667. If you have any further questions please contact your 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