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 21, 1992

Richard F. Andree, CSP, PE, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President
Safety and Health Management Consultants, Inc.
161 William Street
New York, New York 10038

Dear Dr. Andree:

This is in further response to your letters of June 1 and June 2, concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) regulation 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens." You asked for an explanation of OSHA's reason for the exemption of enforcement of the standard for the construction industry, and what the requirements of the standard are regarding labeling of laundry transported to off-site laundry facilities.

In addressing the OSHA Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health on May 19, Dorothy Strunk, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor, informed the Committee that a determination had been made that the bloodborne pathogen standard does not apply to the construction industry. She explained that this policy decision was based on a concern that the construction industry was not afforded adequate notice and opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process.

With respect to your question regarding labeling or color-coding of laundry transported to off-site laundries, paragraph (g)(1)(i)(E) of the standard states that "red bags or red containers may be substituted for labels." Laundry may therefore be placed in red bags in lieu of bags bearing the biohazard symbol.

We hope this information is responsive to your concerns. Thank you for your interest in employee safety and health.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs