Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1910.1030; 1910.1030(d)(4)(i); 1910.1030(d)(4)(ii); 1910.1030(d)(4)(iv); 1910.1030(e)(2)(ii)(B)|
|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 http://www.osha.gov.|
|Note: Please be aware that the term 'first responder' has specific reference to the Hazardous Waste Operations standard (1910.120). The term 'first responder' as used in this letter, however, is used in direct reference to its meaning as implied in the context of the incoming request for interpretation. In this context it refers to those professions typically known as "prehospital responders" which include, but are not limited to, emergency medical technicians (EMT's), paramedics, and Advance First Aid providers.|
According to the scenario illustrated in your letter, a fire or rescue service ("first responder") responds to emergency situations using their equipment to transport and treat patients while en route to a healthcare facility. The hospital or other healthcare facility then removes the patient from the used, contaminated equipment provided by the first responders and proceeds to use its own equipment and medical devices. The facility leaves the equipment used and contaminated for the first responders to pick up and clean.Simply, it is every employer's responsibility to ensure a safe and healthful workplace for its employees. More specifically, according to the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, each employer with employees who may have an occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) is responsible for eliminating or reducing the potential hazard. In this case, where equipment is shared between first responders and emergency department or general hospital staff, each employer has responsibilities for protecting employees from exposure to blood or body fluids.
Your question is: "who is responsible for cleaning this equipment?"
Virginia Department of Labor and IndustryThank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. Compliance guidance provided by OSHA represents OSHA's explanation, clarification, or application of the provisions of the OSH Act, OSHA standards or OSHA regulations, but it does not add to, alter, or replace those provisions, which alone are legally binding. You should also be aware that OSHA's compliance guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction and can also be affected by subsequent rulemaking or other changes in the law. One way for you to track future changes that might affect the information provided herein is by consulting 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.
13 South 13th Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone (804) 786-2377
Fax (804) 371-6524
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
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