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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

January 31, 1994

Mr. William K. Principe
Constangy, Brooks & Smith
Suite 2400
230 Peachtree Street, N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-1557

Dear Mr. Principe:

Thank you for your letter dated December 3, requesting an interpretation regarding the proper recording of a bloodborne pathogens case on the OSHA Log 200. The case as outlined in your letter is a recordable case on the OSHA log.

The bloodborne standard and the recordkeeping regulations are two separate rules and have different scopes of coverage. While the bloodborne standard applies to specific occupations, the injury and illness recordkeeping requirements cover all employees as defined in the OSH Act: " who is employed in the business of his employer" (see Q & A A-1, page 2, of the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses). As described in Q & A C-11, on page 35 of the Guidelines, coverage is intended to go beyond specific job tasks to encompass the total work environment. Cases meeting the criteria outlined on page 6 of CPL 2-2.44C must be recorded on the OSHA Log 200 whether the employee is covered by the bloodborne standard (e.g. designated first aid responders, etc.) or not (e.g. Good Samaritan, etc.).

For recordkeeping purposes, "exposure incident" is defined as "a specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact skin, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious material..." In addition, "non-intact skin" includes skin with dermatitis, hang-nails, cuts, abrasions, chafing, etc. Therefore, cases involving an "exposure incident" to an employee may be recordable while cases involving a splash to a person's "intact" skin are not recordable.

Under 29 CFR 1904, medical treatment includes treatment that is actually provided as well as treatment that is clearly required but not provided. Thus, recommended treatment need not be rendered to satisfy the recordability criteria. This is consistent with the recordkeeping practices relating to cases other than those involving bloodborne pathogens. This guidance can be found on page 44 of the Recordkeeping Guidelines, Q & A F-5. For example, cases involving an employee's refusal to take prescription medication or to allow sutures to be applied do not change the recordability of the injury. This is why Section J(2) of CPL 2-2.44c includes "...the recommendation of medical treatment..." in its recordability requirements.

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


Bob Whitmore
Chiefv Division of Recordkeeping Requirements