Federal agencies Recordkeeping

OSHA revises rules on its access to employee medical records, adds new section on electronic records

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Washington — OSHA has finalized amendments to its rules on accessing employee medical records.

The agency often reviews employee medical records to carry out its statutory obligations, as well as when gathering information during agency rulemaking to develop or revise occupational safety and health standards, an agency press release states. According to a final rule published in the July 30 Federal Register, the rule revisions “transfer certain responsibilities from the assistant secretary to the OSHA medical records officer. Specifically, the MRO will now be responsible for the overall administration and implementation of the procedures contained in 1913.10.”

 

OSHA adds in the press release: “The MRO is responsible for determining the transfer and public disclosure of personally identifiable employee medical information in OSHA’s possession.”

Another significant change is the addition of paragraph (n) to 1913.10, covering the agency’s procedures for “access and safeguarding” electronic medical records. The principal OSHA investigator is charged with ensuring personally identifiable employee medical information is secure and properly used.

The revisions include a clarification that medical access orders aren’t considered administrative subpoenas.

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