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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

  

 

 OSHA Standards Interpretation and Compliance

 Letters

 10/22/1992 - Applicability of bloodborne pathogens standard to first aid providers at drilling operations.

   OSHA Standard Interpretation and Compliance Letters - Table of Contents

      Record Type: Interpretation

      Standard Number: 1910.1030

      Subject: Applicability of bloodborne pathogens standard to first aid providers at drilling operations.

      Information Date: 10/22/1992

 October 22, 1992

 Mr. Larry G. Richardson

 Director of Safety and Training

 Noble Drilling Services, Inc.

 Suite 400

 10370 Richmond Avenue

 Houston, Texas 77042

 

 Dear Mr. Richardson:

 This is in response to your letter of August 31, regarding the applicability of 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens", to drilling operations. We apologize for the delay in this response.

 The bloodborne pathogens standard addresses the broad issue of occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials and is not meant solely for employees in health care settings. Since there is no population that is risk free for human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis B virus infectivity, any employee who has occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials is included within the scope of this standard.

 It is important to note that the definition of "occupational exposure" comprises the reasonable anticipation that the employee will come into contact with these fluids during the course of performing his or her work duties. Therefore, OSHA anticipates that this standard will impact upon all non-health care industries in a similar fashion, i.e., that employees who are designated as responsible for rendering first aid or medical assistance as part of their job duties are to be covered by this standard. This is because it is reasonable to anticipate that an employee designated to render first aid will have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials.

 Employees who perform "Good Samaritan" acts are not, per se, covered by this standard, although OSHA would encourage an employer to offer follow-up procedures to an employee who experiences an exposure incident as the result of performing a "Good Samaritan" act. This is because such an action does not constitute "occupational exposure", as defined by the standard. The key to this issue is not whether employees have been trained in first aid, but whether they are also designated as responsible for rendering medical assistance. While many workers may be trained in first aid and CPR, not all of these employees would necessarily be designated to render first aid.

 Please note that OSHA has recently issued a policy statement specifying that failure to offer the hepatitis B vaccine pre-exposure to persons who render first aid only as a collateral duty, will be considered a technical violation carrying no penalties, provided that a number of conditions are met. These conditions are described in the enclosed news release.

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

 

 Sincerely,

 Roger A. Clark,

 Director

 Directorate of Compliance Programs

 August 31, 1992