Scenario

Ben is a medical laboratory technician working in a local hospital. Before each shift, Ben buys a large cup of coffee from the hospital food court. While working, Ben keeps his cup of coffee on a table in the lab away from his work station.

Is Ben following the bloodborne pathogens standard?

No.

The standard clearly states that drinks cannot be kept in a work area where there is reasonable exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. Food and drink must be kept in designated areas completely free of reasonable exposure. One concern OSHA has expressed with keeping drinks in a work area is the potential for contaminating the drink container, potentially resulting in an indirect exposure.