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.

August 10, 1992

James H. O'Connor, DMD
Health Care Consultant
Enterprises, Inc.
5552 Baywater Drive
Tampa, FL 33615

Dear Dr. O'Connor:

This is in response to your letter of March 7, requesting clarification of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens." Specifically, you requested that we review literature on your Purification/Distillation - Sterilization/Disinfection systems and comment on the equipment in the context of the compliance requirements of the standard. We apologize for the delay in this response.

OSHA does not review or endorse products as you have requested. The final determination of compliance must take into account all factors pertaining to the use of such devices at a particular worksite with respect to employee safety and health. This must include an evaluation through direct observation of employee work practices and all conditions of use in the workplace as well as an evaluation of the equipment or devices alone. In the specific case of your system, the standard is only applicable if the hazards you address affect employee safety and health. Matters solely concerning the safety of patients is not within OSHA's jurisdiction.

OSHA is co-sponsoring (together with the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration) a conference on device-mediated bloodborne infections. The upcoming conference is designed to bring together health professionals and regulatory personnel to facilitate understanding of needs and devices. It is scheduled for August 17-19, 1992, in Washington, DC. Enclosed is a bulletin on this conference.

For further information, please contact:

         PACE Enterprises, Inc.
         Attn:  Laura Timperio
         17 Executive Park Dr,
         Suite 200 
         Atlanta, GA 30329  
         Telephone:  404-633-8610  
         Facsimile:  404-633-8745

Thank you for contacting OSHA. Your ideas would certainly be a valuable contribution to the conference and we hope this information is helpful to you.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs