- 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 https://www.osha.gov.
December 9, 1994
Dear [Name Withheld]:
This is in response to your letter of September 15, where you requested that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declare latex allergy a priority for action on the agenda of workplace hazards. You also enclosed several articles on latex allergies for our review.
OSHA's standard on Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens, 29 CFR 1910.1030, contains a requirement that states that the employer shall provide "hypoallergenic gloves, glove liners, powderless gloves, or other similar alternatives" to those employees who are allergic to gloves normally provided. You indicated that you were aware of this requirement but believed it was inadequate for workers who develop IgE mediated hypersensitivity to latex.
OSHA has an internal committee called the Standards Planning Process Committee. The purpose of the committee is to use the planning process for standards setting and other Agency activities. The information that you have shared with us will be forwarded to that committee for their review and consideration.
I hope this addresses your concerns. If you have further questions, please feel free to call the Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8036.
Ruth McCully, Director Office of Health Compliance Assistance