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 21, 1992

Susan S. Aronson, M.D.
Pennsylvania Chapter
American Academy of Pediatrics
The Dayton Building
610 Old Lancaster Road
Suite 220
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010

Dear Dr. Aronson:

This is in further response to your letter of June 7, which requested clarification regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens". Specifically, you requested an interpretation regarding the coverage of child care workers under the scope of the standard and which provisions of the standard would apply to them.

One of the central provisions of the bloodborne pathogens standard is that employers are responsible for determining which job classifications or specific tasks and procedures are reasonably anticipated to result in worker contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). The standard relates coverage to occupational exposure, regardless of where that exposure may occur, since the risk of infection with bloodborne pathogens is dependent on the likelihood of exposure to blood or OPIM regardless of the particular job title or place of employment. If it is determined that a child care worker has occupational exposure, as defined by the standard, then that employee is covered by all sections of the standard including training, vaccination, personal protective equipment, and so forth.

Child care workers who are designated as responsible for rendering first aid or medical assistance as part of their job duties are covered by the scope of this standard. However, failure to offer the hepatitis B vaccine pre-exposure to persons who render first aid only as a collateral duty will be considered a technical violation carrying no penalties, provided a number of conditions are met. Please refer to the enclosed news release for additional information on the circumstances under which this exception would apply.

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 Assistance