- 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.
July 31, 2008
Mr. David Vidra, CLPN, MA,
Ms. Kris Lachance
Health Educators, Inc.
515 E. Grand River Avenue, Suite F
East Lansing, MI 48823-4499
Dear Mr. Vidra & Ms. Lachance:
Thank you for your letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Enforcement Programs regarding the annual training requirements of OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard (29 CFR 1910.1030). Your questions are restated below, followed by OSHA's responses. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence.
Question 1: Does OSHA consider generic bloodborne pathogens training to be sufficient for modification practitioners (tattooing and body piercing artists), or should annual training be specific to the unique procedures and practices within the industry (i.e. industry-specific training)?
Response 1: As you may know, the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2) provide that all employees with occupational exposure to blood and OPIM receive initial and annual training on the hazards and the protective measures to be taken to minimize the risk of occupational exposure. While the provisions for employee training are performance oriented, with flexibility allowed to tailor the program to, for example, the employee's background and responsibilities, the categories of information listed in paragraph 1910.1030(g)(2)(vii) must be covered, at a minimum. An explanation of the use and limitations of methods that will prevent or reduce exposure, including appropriate engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment, should be included. As you suggest, industry-specific information, and, in fact, some site-specific information would be necessary to accomplish this.
Question 2: Does OSHA require that existing industry-specific written interpretations be presented to course participants in annual bloodborne pathogens training?
Response 2: OSHA does not mandate the use of its interpretation letters as training material. However, OSHA letters of interpretation are written to clarify OSHA policy so, to the extent that they will be beneficial in simplifying the requirements of the standard, emphasizing new information or clarifying the workplace exposure control measures, their use is encouraged.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. 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 appraised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Health Enforcement at 202-693-2190.
Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs