Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1910.1030|
February 27, 1996
Ms. Mary Scalco
Dear Ms. Scalco:
This letter is in response to the letter addressed to this Directorate from Mr. John Meijer last June. We appreciate your taking the time and coming in to talk to us about your concerns on October 12. The essential points addressed by your letter involve the situations under which dry cleaning establishments would be covered by the bloodborne pathogens standard. Following your discussion with my staff on the issue of coverage we have come to the following conclusions:
1. If a dry cleaning establishment maintains contracts with establishments such as health care facilities, fire departments, and/or police departments where one could reasonably anticipate that clothing cleaned under these contracts could be contaminated by blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM), OSHA would expect that those employers are fully covered by the standard (29 CFR 1910.1030). Once the material had been cleaned it would no longer be regarded as potentially infectious.
2. In dry cleaning establishments that do not maintain the types of contracts described in No. 1, OSHA would not enforce the standard, but would require the training of workers (especially those that receive the clothing articles) to recognize potentially contaminated clothing. Once clothing has been recognized as such, each separate facility would need to make a determination as to whether or not it will clean such clothing. If the facility elects not to handle the clothing, then procedures should be in place to refer the customer elsewhere. In addition to this limited training, OSHA would expect the post exposure follow-up portion of the standard to be implemented if an actual exposure incident were to occur. The requirements under a post-exposure evaluation and follow-up are covered under section 29 CFR 1910.1030(f)(3) of the standard. The hepatitis vaccination would not be required of workers in this category unless recommended by the examing physician under the post exposure evaluation procedures.
If the facility elected to clean material that has been recognized as potentially contaminated, the facility should set the clothing aside and handle it separately. Individuals in the facility that would handle, launder, or dry clean such potentially contaminated materials would need to be thoroughly trained under the requirements of the bloodborne pathogens standard. Training shall also include the use of proper personal protective equipment, such as gloves and aprons, and the work practices that must be implemented to avoid exposure. The vaccination series for hepatitis B would not be required until there was an actual exposure incident (where there was skin contact) as part of the post exposure follow-up procedures. The facility would not need to train and provide the hepatitis vaccination to all individuals in the facility, but only to those that have been so exposed.
If you have any additional questions or if we can be of any further assistance please contact Richard Fairfax of my staff at (202) 219-8036 extension 41.
US Department of Labor
Dear Mr. Fairfax:
Thank you for responding to me so quickly. Per our conversation I'm including a copy of our original request for interpretation of critical areas of the Bloodborne Pathogen standard, our response to that request, and the subsequent trade publications we published as a result of the information we received.
The basis for this request is to get specific guidance from your office to help alleviate any future confusion between regional and state offices concerning the applicability of this standard to drycleaners. Since the standard was finalized in 1992, drycleaners who provide cleaning to the general public only, have not been covered by the standard. However, we were recently made aware of an OSHA citation that was issued to a drycleaner by the Region V office in Illinois. The citation was issued to a drycleaner for failing to comply with the Bloodborne Pathogen standard. (copy enclosed).
As I understand it, the drycleaner was told that he must comply with the Bloodborne Pathogen standard when doing cleaning for the general public. Obviously, this runs counter to the Region III interpretation, and what we have always interpreted from the standard. However, in an attempt to avoid any further confusion in this area, I would like to receive clarification, or an official endorsement from your office on the original Region III interpretation.
Although the questions that need clarification are presented on the original letter, I will restate them here.
1. Are drycleaners covered under the standard when cleaning clothes from the general public?
2. What if anything is required of a drycleaner that accepts clothes from the general public containing blood?
3. Are drycleaners covered if they accept garments from dentist's offices, medical labs, mortuaries?
From a sheriff or police department, or fire department?
4. If you are accepting garments from the above, are they required to notify you of potential hazards and do you only need to handle those garments specially, not all garments you are receiving from them?
I know your office is extremely busy, and short staffed. I hope by including some of the original information it will make your job easier. If I can be of any additional assistance please let me know.
Ms. Linda Anko
Dear Ms. Anko:
The International Fabricare Institute is a trade association for drycleaners, launderers, and other professionals concerned with clothing and textile care. As such, we have had numerous inquires on the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. There are several questions we would like clarification on to make sure we are giving our members complete information.
1. Are drycleaners covered under the standard? Mr. Johnson indicated that they were not if they were just handling everyday customer's clothes.
2. Are drycleaners covered if they accept garments from dentist's offices, medical labs, mortuaries?
From a sheriff or police department?
3. If you are accepting garments from the above, are they required to notify you of potential hazards and do you only need to handle those garments specially, not all garments you are receiving from them?
I would appreciate your written response to these questions as soon as possible.
Dear Ms. Scalco:
This is in reply to your letter concerning the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens standard 29 CFR 1910.1030, and coverage of drycleaners.
Drycleaners are covered by the standard if they are accepting laundry which they expect to be contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials. Laundry which is given to drycleaners is not covered if the laundry is not reasonably anticipated to be contaminated, such as laundry from the general public. Drycleaners who accept garments from dental offices, medical labs, and mortuaries would be expected to be handling, laundry which is contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials; therefore, they would be covered by the standard. Sheriff or police department garments would only be covered if the garments are expected to be contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials.
Facilities which send contaminated laundry to a second facility must place such laundry in bags or containers which are labeled or color coded to identify the laundry as potentially contaminated. It is the laundry facility's responsibility to train the employees who handle the contaminated laundry. Specific laundry handling precautions are only required for contaminated laundry.
Please contact this office if we can be of further assistance.
(For IFI Bulletin Reprint -- OSHA No. 4, see printed copy)
(For IFI Bulletin Reprint -- OSHA No. 5, see printed copy)
(For Citation and Notification of Penalty, see printed copy)
(For Invoice/Debt Collection Notice, see printed copy)
(For Informal Settlement Agreement, see printed copy)
Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|