Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1030; 1910.1030(f)(3)(iii)(B)


July 16, 2008

Ms. Nicole Lepore
National Healthcare Compliance Consultant
6342 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 205
West Palm Beach, FL 38120

Dear Ms. Lepore:

Thank you for your April 17, 2008 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Your letter was forwarded to the Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP) for a response. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence. For clarification, your specific question is paraphrased below, followed by OSHA's response.

Background: OSHA's Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens standard addresses the requirement for blood testing as part of a post exposure evaluation at 29 CFR 1910.1030(f)(3)(iii)(B). The standard states: "If the employee consents to baseline blood collection, but does not give consent at that time for HIV serologic testing, the sample shall be preserved for at least 90 days. If, within 90 days of the exposure incident, the employee elects to have the baseline sample tested, such testing shall be done as soon as feasible" (boldface added).

Question: It is our experience that laboratories will typically only store a blood sample for 7-30 days. Following a work-related bloodborne pathogens exposure incident, if an employee consents to baseline blood collection, but does not give consent at that time for HIV serologic testing, is it permissible for the employer to have the employee sign a consent verifying their understanding of the lab's procedure of the 30-day storage time frame?

Reply: No, an employer may not have employees sign a consent form waiving the right to have untested baseline blood maintained for the minimum time limitation