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.

December 16, 1992

Sylvia B. Cothane, RN
Nurse Assistant Coordinator
Greenville County
Chapter American Red Cross
P.O. Box 9035
Greenville, South Carolina 29604

Dear Ms. Cothane:

This is in response to your letter of June 23, forwarded to us by the Atlanta Regional Office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requesting clarification on the applicability of 29 CFR 1910.1030, Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens to nurse assistant students. Please accept our apology for the delay in this response.

We note that you provide services across the country where OSHA programs are either under exclusive Federal jurisdiction or under OSHA-approved, State-operated plans. In areas under Federal OSHA jurisdiction, Federal standards are in force.

Federal OSHA policy has not previously extended coverage to volunteers because they were not considered to be employees. This position is under review due to recent court decisions. We will communicate to you any change in the policy which may result from our review.

Twenty-three States, including South Carolina, have OSHA-approved State programs for occupational safety and health. We have enclosed a list of them for your use. The States and territories with approved plans are required either to adopt and enforce the Federal regulation (on bloodborne disease) or develop their own regulation. During the period for the development of the State regulation, the Federal standard is in effect and this interpretation prevails. Since a State regulation can be more stringent than the Federal Regulation, you may have to address your inquiry to each State where you have clients.

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


Roger A. Clark,
Directorate of Compliance Programs