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 1, 1994

Mr. Robert Frey 4153 Comanche Drive Jackson, Mississippi 39211

Dear Mr. Frey:

Thank you far your letter of October 13, regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) regulations for Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. Your letter has been referred to this office for reply.

In addressing your first question, you ask does the standard apply to abortion clinics? Employers are responsible for determining the job classifications or specific tasks and procedures where there is a reasonable anticipation of worker contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). The standard relates coverage to occupational exposure, regardless of where that exposure may occur, since the risk of infection with bloodborne pathogens is dependent on the likelihood of exposure to blood or OPIM. It is anticipated that certain employees working in an abortion clinic will have an occupational exposure and that these employees will be covered by all sections of the standard including training, vaccination, and personal protective equipment.

In response to your second question concerning what action OSHA has taken to enforce these regulations in abortion clinics, OSHA uses the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) to code establishments that have been inspected. The question can not be directly answered because the tracking of bloodborne pathogen related inspections is such that a distinction between abortion clinics and other specialty outpatient facilities such as biofeedback clinics and alcohol treatment clinics cannot be determined. Abortion clinics and other specialty outpatient clinics would generally fall into the SIC code 8039. A listing of inspections in this industry with the SIC code of 8039 in which the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogen standard has been cited can be provided. The Office of Management Data Systems could provide you with such a listing. To discuss this option in further detail, please phone Mr. Bruce Beveridge in the Office of Management Data Systems at (202) 219-7888.

We hope this fully addresses your concerns. If you have questions please feel free to call OSHA's Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8036. Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health.


John B. Miles, Jr., Director Directorate of Compliance Programs