- Standard Number:
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 http://www.osha.gov.
December 7, 1994
Randall U. Mottram Infectious Disease Specialist 10500 Sager Avenue, Suite A Fairfax, VA 22020-2483
Dear Mr. Mottram:
This is in response to your letter of September 8, concerning two administrative practices that you questioned. One is that your members who are under the care of an infectious disease physician are limited in the pharmacies they can use and the other is whether a worker is entitled to compensation for the time it takes to attend appointments for work related medical evaluations, consultations, follow-ups, and other similar activities.
The first practice you mention concerning the mandate to use one of two pharmacies is not addressed anywhere in any Federal Occupational Safety and Health standard. The Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, CFR 29, 1910.1030, does not require any such restriction.
The second concern you have is whether or not the time it takes to attend a medical appointment is compensable. Workers compensation rules and regulations following an occupational illness or injury occurs is under the jurisdiction of the Office of Worker's Compensation Programs (OWCP). We suggested that you contact your local OWCP office for further information. Federal OSHA has several substance-specific standards that require employers to pay for medical examinations in connection with those substances, such as lead, arsenic and cotton dust.
As you may be aware, The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, allows States to assume responsibility for their own occupational safety and health plans, which are approved and monitored by Federal OSHA. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry operates such a plan that covers public employees. As a condition of plan approval, States are required to adopt and enforce standards that are either identical to, or at least as effective as, the Federal standards. For information regarding the requirements of Virginia standards, you may contact:
Clarence Wheeling, Health Enforcement Director Virginia Occupational Safety and Health 13 South 13th Street Richmond, VA 23219 Telephone: (804) 786-0574
In addition, please be aware that Federal OSHA does not have jurisdiction over State and municipal workers.
We hope this has been responsive to your concerns. If you have any further questions feel free to contact the Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8036.
Ruth McCully, Director Office of Health Compliance Assistance