- Standard Number:
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 http://www.osha.gov.
December 15, 1992
Mr. Vaughn Carner
U.S. Holding, Inc.
8351 N.W. (DeBorgory Drive) 93(rd) Street
Miami, Florida 33166
Dear Mr. Carner:
This is in further response to your letter of October 2, addressed to Dorothy L. Strunk, Acting Assistant Secretary. You wrote requesting a permanent variance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation on Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens, 29 CFR 1910.1030.
We believe that a recent policy decision regarding the provision of the hepatitis B vaccine to designated first aiders will obviate your need for a variance request.
The bloodborne pathogens standard addresses the broad issue of occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials and is not meant solely for employees in health care settings. Since there is no population that is risk free for human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis B virus infectivity, any employee who has occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials is included within the scope of this standard.
It is important to note that "occupational exposure" is defined as "reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee's duties". OSHA anticipates that this standard will impact upon all non-health care industries in a similar fashion, i.e., that employees who are designated as responsible for rendering first aid or medical assistance as part of their job duties are to be covered by this standard. You should note that employees who are not designated first aiders who perform unanticipated "Good Samaritan" acts are excluded from coverage by the standard since such an action does not constitute "occupational exposure", as defined above.
OSHA has recently issued a policy statement specifying that failure to offer the hepatitis B vaccine pre-exposure to persons who render first aid solely as a collateral duty will be considered a technical violation carrying no penalties, provided that a number of conditions are met. These conditions are described in the enclosed news release. Please note that this policy does not apply to health care workers who are expected to render first aid in the course of their work or to personnel who administer first aid at a first aid station, clinic, or dispensary.
We hope this information is responsive to your concerns and thank you for your interest in worker safety and health.
Roger A. Clark,
Directorate of Compliance Programs
October 12, 1992
Dorothy L. Strunk
Assistant Secretary for
Occupational Safety and Health
U.S. Department of Labor
Washington, D.C. 20210
Re: The Bloodborne Pathogen Standard 29 C.F.R. 1910.1030
Dear Secretary Strunk:
Pursuant to section 6(D) of the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety Health act of 1970, (27 C.F.R. 1905:11); U.S. Holdings, Company and its subsidiaries respectfully requests a permanent variance from the requirements of 29 C.F.R. 1910.1030, known as the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. We also are requesting an interim order for such an exemption pursuant to C.F.R. 29-1910:11 pending a final determination on this application.
1. Names and addresses of the applicants places of enterprise:
A. U.S. Foundry & Manufacturing Corporation B. U.S. Foundry & Manufacturing Corp.-Fabrication Div.
C. U.S. Precast Corporation all are located at 8351 N.W. 93rd Street, Medley, FL 33166
D. Florida Lift Stations Corporation is located at 9498 N.W. South River Drive, Medley, FL 33166
E. Tri-County Concrete Products company is located at 1926 Skees Road, West Palm Beach FL 33411
F. U.S. Foundry & Manufacturing Corporate Sales / Distribution is located at 4408 W. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33614
G. U.S. Foundry & Manufacturing Corporation 1105 Bolten Road N.W., Atlanta, GA
2. Places of Employment: The request is for all affected employees of the above listed location of our organization. To my knowledge, there are no overriding rules or standards (state or federal) that would affect your ruling on our request.
3. Applicant's Proposal Justification:
A. We submit our request based on several factors. Initially our request is based on the fact our organizations are manufacturing firms and or sales/distribution points with support staff as needed and would not under most premises ever be exposed to a microbe borne by blood or other human channels of transmission. If a transmission did occur it would occur due to an act of compassion (such as rendering First Aid or other acts of brotherly love).
Our manufacturing encompasses the following broad areas of humomachinization:
U.S. Foundry: Melt/Process iron to make municipal castings.
U.S. Fabrication: Fabricate/Machine, iron, steel and aluminum for various end results.
U.S. Precast: Pour/ Fabricate concrete to make municipal products.
Tri-County Concrete: Pour/Fabricate concrete pipe and other concrete products.
Florida Lift Stations: Build/ Install/ Maintain municipal lift stations.
B. All of our facilities have First Aid stations, ie: cabinets stocked with O.S.H.A. approved products to render the more mundane or superficial injuries.
C. We have in the past offered and presented Red Cross First Aid and C.P.R. classes to our employees. This has been on a voluntary basis and is thought of as a benefit for them and their families.
D. If and when an employee is injured beyond the mundane or superficial, we will either contact 911, which has response times of 5 minutes or less, or transport the injured to local medical facilities set up for the industrial complex injuries. These facilities are within 3 to 4 road miles of our concerns.
4. Further: It has not been shown that compliance will predispose our concerns to be a safer, healthier alternative. I cite the following:
A. The viral contact for personages that work in the medical and related fields is extremely low even with constant exposure. In our enterprises, if there is exposure, it has got to be by reason, almost non-existent. There is to my knowledge, to records or statistics of exposure on non-health field employees or records of infection from an exposure that is job related.
B. There is (although small), a risk to all employees that opt to receive the Hepatitis B vaccine. This is a real risk, as opposed to at best, a theoretical risk. Some of these risks are: site infection, general and specific rejection syndrome reactions, radiculoneuropathy problems such as Bell's Palsey and/or others.
C. We provide first aid/CPR courses to our employees on a voluntary basis. They use this knowledge on a voluntary basis, if at all. Although we are told (by law) to have first aid training, we go far beyond the one or two people - we train and retrain employees continuously. After training there is no compulsion other than compassion that says it must be used. However, if the employees know they must comply with this health care law they may refuse to render assistance and we must rethink our position on the extraneous training.
D. And finally, this new law flies in the face of the U.S. Government's eight year training program that keeps stating the extremely low incident rate for AID/ARS.
We therefore reiterate our request for a permanent variance from the instant law.
U.S. Holdings, Inc.