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.

October 21, 1999

Mr. Neil B. Zebert
Risk Management
Body-Borneman Insurance
17 East Philadelphia Avenue
Boyertown, PA 19512

Dear Mr. Zebert:

This is in response to your letter of August 9, 1999 addressed to Mr. Kevin Landkrohn of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Your letter was forwarded to OSHA's Office of Health Compliance Assistance. You requested an interpretation on 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens," as it applies to employees of a daycare center.

Training for the sake of providing education to employees in first aid does not invoke the standard. The bloodborne pathogens standard is invoked when employees are trained and expected to provide medical assistance to their coworkers. The standard does not apply, however, only to employees who administer medical assistance to other employees of an organization. In the scenario presented in your letter, as mandated by the state Department of Health, the staff of the daycare center are required to render first aid to children in their care as part of their job duties. Therefore, the daycare center staff are covered by the bloodborne pathogens standard.

Thus, for employees engaged in a daycare who are required to render first aid as part of their job duties, all elements of the bloodborne pathogens standard apply. The employer must implement and maintain an exposure control plan; provide personal protective equipment at no cost to the employee; make the hepatitis B vaccine available to the employees; ensure immediate medical evaluation and follow up after an exposure incident; ensure all employees receive initial and annual training on the hazards associated with blood and OPIM and protective measures to be taken to minimize the risk occupational exposure; maintain training and medical records for each employee; and ensure compliance with all paragraphs of the bloodborne pathogens standard.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. If you require further assistance or clarification, please do not hesitate to call the Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 693-2190.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs