US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1030

May 28, 1992

Mr. Ben B. Harriman Chairman
Department Of Pathology
Clearwater Pathology Associates
Post Office Box 210
Clearwater, Florida 34617-0210

Dear Dr. Harriman:

This is in response to your letter of April 9, in which you requested clarification concerning the gloving requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation, 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens".

As stated in the preamble to the standard, changing gloves between patient contacts is good infection control practice to eliminate patient-to-patient transmission of disease. However, OSHA's jurisdiction is over employee safety and health which is not addressed by this issue.

OSHA requires that disposable gloves be changed as soon practical when contaminated and as soon as feasible when they are torn or punctured. These requirements protect the employee from exposure to the hazards of bloodborne pathogens. OSHA does not require that gloves be changed between patients if they are not contaminated and their barrier properties are not compromised. Please bear in mind that the term "contaminated" is defined as the presence or the reasonably anticipated presence of blood or other potentially infectious materials rather than "visibly" contaminated as stated in your letter.

We hope this information is responsive to your concerns. Thank you for your interest in worker safety and health.

Sincerely,



Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close