cleanup of a spill by laboratory staff is not subject to this requirement. According to 29 CFR § 1910.120(a)(3), “Responses to incidental releases of hazardous substances where the substance can be absorbed, neutralized, or otherwise controlled at the time of release by employees in the immediate release area, or by maintenance personnel are not considered to be emergency responses within the scope of this standard.” That section goes on to say, “Responses to releases of hazardous substances where there is no potential safety or health hazard (i.e., fire, explosion, or chemical exposure) are not considered to be emergency responses.” It is important that facilities have a clear understanding of the circumstances under which employees are expected to respond to incidents, and train employees to be able to identify the difference between a routine incidental release and an emergency requiring outside assistance.

OSHA’s bloodborne pathogen standard describes the necessary precautions for cleaning a spill of human blood or body fluids.

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