Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

April 2, 1993

Ms. Jeanette Rauba
Safety Administrative Assistant
600 Mountain Avenue
Post Office Box 636
Murray Hill, New Jersey 07974-0636

Dear Ms. Rauba:

Thank you for your letter dated January 29, requesting an interpretation regarding the proper recording of a Hepatitis A exposure incident, for OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes. Please excuse the lengthy delay in our response. I will refer to the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in my response.

Recent guidance has been released regarding the proper recording of Hepatitis B (serum hepatitis) and other bloodborne pathogens. This guidance includes recording exposure incidents that result in medical treatment as found on the enclosed page 6 from CPL 2- 2.44c. However, Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis) does not fall into this category. For proper recording procedure, we must refer to the Guidelines.

The OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping system is not designed to record exposure incidents. Q&A B-6 on page 30 states "Entries on the log...should be made only when the exposure results in a recordable work injury or illness." What must be determined is whether the employees have developed an abnormal condition (i.e. Hepatitis A infection or disease) as a result of the exposure. Furthermore, Q&A B-9 on page 30 addresses the situation of receiving preventative care when not injured or ill. This care does not make a case recordable.

If your employees did not develop Hepatitis A infection or disease, the case should not be recorded. If, however, they did develop the infection or disease at a later date, record the case using the date of exposure. (This is assuming the restaurant workers were infected. Your letter states that they were "being tested". Be aware that Hepatitis A has a short incubation period ranging from 2 to 6 weeks. You should have known fairly quickly if your employees developed the Hepatitis A infection from the exposure in question.)

I hope you find this information useful. If you have any further questions, please contact my staff at Area Code (202) 219-6463.


Stephen A. Newell
Office of Statistics