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Access to Records

OSHA Standard 3110 provides workers with the right to see, review, and copy their own medical records and records of exposure to toxic substances. Additionally, employees have a right to see and copy records of other employees’ exposure to toxic substances if they have had similar past or present jobs or working conditions. Employees also may review employer information from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (although this information is usually incorporated in the MSDS). “Exposure records” include:

  • workplace monitoring or measurement records
  • MSDS or other information which identifies substances or physical agents and their characteristics
  • biological monitoring results (e.g., blood tests which monitor levels of absorbed substances in the body, etc.)

“Medical records” include:

  • results of medical exams, laboratory tests and other diagnostic tests
  • medical and employment questionnaires or histories
  • medical opinions, recommendations, diagnoses, and progress notes

Generally, a free copy is provided at the request of employees or access to a place where copies may be made is provided. Employees are permitted to establish a designated representative to review records on their behalf, such as a union representative. Written authorization for release of personal information is routinely required. Employers must preserve and maintain both exposure records and medical records for at least 30 years.

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