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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

February 15, 1994



THRU:               LEO CAREY
                   Office of Field Programs

FROM:               BOB WHITMORE
                   Chief, Division of Recordkeeping Requirements
                   Office of Statistics

SUBJECT:            Recording TB related cases on the OSHA 200 Log

Work Relationship

A case of tuberculosis disease or infection is presumed to be work related in the following industries: correctional facilities; health care facilities; homeless shelters; long-term care facilities for the elderly; and drug treatment centers. For all other industries a case would be considered work related under the following circumstance: An employee tests positive for infection after being exposed to a person within the work environment known to have tuberculosis disease. The case of TB disease, however, would not be presumed work related if there was no known exposure within the work environment.

Rebuttable Presumption

The presumption of work relationship may be rebutted with proof that the employee was infected before his or her employment at the establishment. If an employee's pre-assignment test is positive within two weeks of his or her start date, the presumption is rebutted by the fact that a workplace exposure could not have caused the infection within a time period shorter than the minimum incubation period. If, however, the positive test results occur after two weeks following the employee's start date, the case is presumed work related in the above stated industries.


While OSHA is sensitive to the issue of personal privacy and the effect disclosure can have on employee reporting, the use of coded personal identifiers on the OSHA 200 Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and the OSHA 101 Supplementary Record of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses is not permissible. All cases on the Log must contain the injured or ill employee's name. The issue of one's personal privacy versus another worker's right to know will be addressed in the 29 CFR 1904 revision proposal scheduled for next year.

Please reference the attached memos dated 02/26/93 and 03/25/93 from this office for further information on this subject. Also please make sure that your TB Coordinators are made aware of this information.