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.

July 7, 1992

Dr. Irwin J. Scult Chairman
Oradell Board of Health
Borough of Oradell
355 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell, New Jersey 07649

Dear Dr. Scult:

This is in response to your letter of April 14, concerning the potential for exposure to bloodborne diseases in nail salons. The material published in connection with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens" (29 CFR 1910.1030) does not include any information on the risks of transmission of bloodborne diseases in the cosmetology profession. Accordingly, we cannot render an opinion on the need for autoclaving of instruments, the wearing of rubber gloves, and periodic blood testing.

Under the standard, it is the responsibility of the employer to evaluate the potential for contact with blood or other potentially infectious material among his or her employees. If the employer determines that such a potential exists, then he or she must provide all the protections of the standard to the exposed employees, including training, vaccination, and personal protective equipment.

The transmission of disease to clients of nail salons is a public health issue and would be regulated by the state and local health agencies. We hope this information is responsive to your concerns. Thank you for your interest in worker safety and health.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs