OSHA Compliance: Keep These Records Not 10, Not 20 – But 30 Years!

Posted by Selin Hoboy on Mon, Oct 06, 2014 @ 01:51 PM

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A lesser known compliance responsibility for employers is the maintenance of confidential records for 30 years after an employee terminates employment. Here are four record types that fall into this requirement from OSHA (1910.1020 e). The purpose of this requirement is to yield both direct and indirect improvements in the detection, treatment, and prevention of occupational disease. 


1. Examinations

Here, OSHA is seeking a record containing the results of medical examinations and laboratory tests taken for the purpose of establishing a base-line or detecting occupational illnesses and all biological monitoring.  Included in this category are medical opinions, diagnoses, progress notes, and recommendations.  It also includes first aid records, descriptions of treatments and prescriptions, and employee medical complaints. 

2. Immunizations

According to OSHA, immunizations or inoculations, except for tetanus immunization that are classified as first aid are considered medical treatment when given in response to a workplace injury or illness. Records need to be retained for these incidences. 

3. Workplace injuries and illnesses

Each employer shall, upon request, assure the access of each employee’s medical records of which the employee is the subject.  Employers must be informed about where medical records are kept and how they may obtain access to their own medical records or information. 

4. Exposure to Toxic or Hazardous Chemicals

The 30-year recordkeeping requirement applies to Materials Safety Data Sheets, as well as the newly revised Safety Data Sheets because the material may pose a hazard to human health. 

Keep in mind that the access to employee exposure and medical records states: “Nothing in this section is intended to affect existing legal and ethical obligations concerning the maintenance and confidentiality of employee medical information, the duty to disclose information to a patient/employee or any other aspect of the medical-care relationship, or affect existing legal obligations concerning the protection of trade secret information.” 

Taking the time to document and understand these requirements is critical for the health and safety of your employees and your practice. Keep your team safe in 2014.

Now with the new and improved MyStericycle.com it’s even easier for Steri-Safe OSHA Compliance Program Members to quickly and easily obtain the tools and resources to comply with the Access to Medical Records and Medical and Exposure Records.Our OSHA program makes it easy.

In particular, when it comes to recording workplace injuries and illnesses, OSHA 300 Forms are readily available for Compliance Administrators in the Safety Plan Builder. Keeping records of exposures to hazardous chemicals is easily accomplished through MyStericycle.com, as well.  See how easy it is to use MyStericycle.com


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Topics: OSHA Compliance, OSHA Medical

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