A useful tool in understanding how OSHA will enforce its standards is to look at the agency’s responses to questions posed by employers. A number of recent examples include the following:
A question was posed as to whether there was a requirement to test hepatitis B antibodies once an employee completed the three-dose vaccination series.
The answer given was “yes” with a reference to the BBP standard and the U.S. Public Health Service.
Another question was whether the employer must pay for testing of the source patient. The answer given was “yes.”
A third question involved a recordkeeping issue arising from employee travel. In this case an employee returned from an out of town work trip. He arrived at the airport on Saturday, a non-workday. He drove home, stopping at a store on the way. When he resumed his trip home, he had an accident and was injured. OSHA decided that the employee’s injury was work-related for recordkeeping purposes. OSHA’s answer notes that injuries or illnesses are not considered work-related if they occur while the employee is on a personal detour. OSHA notes that this case does not fit the exception “for personal reasons,” because the employee was on a reasonably direct route home.
In another interpretation letter OSHA responds to a question that relates to transporting oxygen tanks by mobile medical equipment and the definition of “secure” in that regard. OSHA responds that 29 C.F.R. §1910.101(b) requires that the in-plant handling, storage, and utilization of all compressed gasses and cylinders, portable tanks, rail tank cars and motor vehicle cargo tanks shall be in accordance with Compressed Gas Association pamphlet P-1-1965, Section 3.2.6 requiring use of a suitable hand truck, roll platform, or similar device. The cylinder must be firmly secured during the transporting and unloading. It is further noted that cylinders should not be dragged or rolled in the horizontal position. There are multiple options to secure a cylinder. A suitable hand truck, a pallet system or similar material- handling device may be employed.