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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1030; 1910.1030(g)(2); 1910.1030(h)(2)

January 20, 2004

Mr. Lawrence Lotz
Aquatic Examiner
Fall River Heritage State Park
200 Davol Street
Fall River, MA 02720

Dear Mr. Lotz:

Thank you for your October 23, 2003 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP). This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question(s) not delineated within your original correspondence. You had specific questions regarding an employer's responsibility to provide training to lifeguards as required by 1910.1030, OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard. Your question has been restated below followed by OSHA's response.

Question: Can an employer require potential lifeguards to obtain training that meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2)(i) through (g)(2)(ix)(c) prior to being employed and, can the employer then only be responsible to follow up with an on-site orientation?

Reply: No. An employer whose employees have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) must provide training at the time of initial assignment [1910.1030(g)(2)(ii)(A)] and at least annually thereafter [1910.1030(g)(2)(ii)(C)]. 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2)(i) requires that such training "be provided at no cost to the employee and during working hours." OSHA interprets this to mean that the employer is responsible for providing this training regardless of whether the employee previously worked in a similar job for another employer and/or was given training by another employer prior to their current position. The requirements of the bloodborne pathogens standard are performance-based, and compliance is determined on a facility-by-facility basis. The standard is very detailed on the minimum elements of a training program that an employer must provide [1910.1030(g)(2)(vii)]. Many of the elements are very specific to the facility or circumstances that employees will encounter at a particular facility. For instance, the employer must include "information on the appropriate actions to take and persons to contact in an emergency involving blood or OPIM" [1910.1030(g)(2)(viii)(J)] and must also include "an explanation of the procedure to follow if an exposure incident occurs, including the method of reporting the incident and the medical follow-up that will be made available." It would be difficult for an employer to ensure that these and several other of the workplace-specific elements of a training program are met by relying on training performed by another employer/facility.

Please keep in mind, the annual refresher training need only cover the topics listed in 1910.1030(g)(2)(vii) to the extent needed [OSHA CPL 02-02-069 (formerly CPL 2-2.69) XIII.G.4]. This means that employees who return to the same facility from year to year for lifeguard duties need not be given an exact reproduction of the previous year's training.

Employers are also required to maintain records of the training. 29 CFR 1910.1030(h)(2) states that training records shall include information, which include, among other things, "the contents or a summary of the training sessions and the names and qualifications of persons conducting the training." It would be difficult for an employer to have a reliable summary of the training provided by an outside party. Employees with bloodborne pathogen exposure are required to be given the opportunity to ask and have questions answered during the training. This would also be difficult for an employer to verify if the training was conducted prior to the employee becoming employed.

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 apprised 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

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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