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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1030

July 7, 1992

Mr. Spencer Parkinson
Product Manager of Infection Control
Devon Industries, Inc.
9530 DeSoto Avenue
Chatsworth, California 91111-5084

Dear Mr. Parkinson:

This is in response to your April 2 letter in which you inquired about the acceptability of your four gallon "Sharps-A-Gator" sharps disposal container under 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(4)(iii) (A)(iii) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens". We apologize for the delay in this response.

As you stated in your letter, the standard requires that containers used to discard disposable sharps be leakproof on the sides and bottom. A concern that we have with your four gallon container is that liquid blood or other potentially infectious materials could seep out through the joint between the upper and lower halves of the container. Certainly used syringes and other sharps are unlikely to carry enough blood to fill the lower half of the container up to the joint. However if leaking or broken containers of liquid blood were to be disposed of in the "Sharps- A-Gator" there is a possibility that blood running down the inside wall could reach the joint and seep out. Additionally, the joint should be secure enough so that it could not spring open during normal transport operations.

While OSHA does not endorse or approve specific products, if your product is designed so that these concerns are alleviated, then this sharps container would appear to be in compliance with the standard. Of course, the final determination regarding compliance with OSHA requirements must be made in the workplace by direct OSHA compliance officer observation of employee work practices while utilizing your product and through employee interviews.

We hope this information is responsive to your concerns.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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