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 18, 1992

John C. Taberner
Vice President of Operations
Atlantic & Pacific Investment Corporation
800 North Shoreline Boulevard
South Tower, Suite 1020
Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Dear Mr. Taberner:

This is in response to your letter of May 19, 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 the literature you have provided on the NEED-3000 Used Injection Needles Melting Device from Japan and comment on the device 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. This must include an evaluation through direct observation of employee work practices and all conditions of use in the workplace in addition to an evaluation of the equipment or devices alone. You should note, however, that section (d)(2)(vii) of the standard prohibits the shearing or breaking of contaminated needles and section (d)(2)(vii)(A) prohibits the removal of contaminated needles unless the employer can demonstrate that no alternative is feasible or that such action is required by a specific medical procedure.

We hope this information is helpful to you. We appreciate your interest in employee Safety and Health.


Patricia K. Clark
Directorate of Compliance Programs