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Page last reviewed: 09/05/2008
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Medical Access Order

OSHA standard 29 CFR 1913.10(a) states: OSHA access to employee medical records will, in certain circumstances, be important to the agency's performance of its statutory functions. Medical records, however, contain personal details concerning the lives of employees. Due to the substantial personal privacy interests involved, OSHA authority to gain access to personally identifiable employee medical information will be exercised only after the agency has made a careful determination of its need for this information, and only with appropriate safeguards to protect individual privacy.

Once this information is obtained, OSHA examination and the use of it will be limited to only that information needed to accomplish the purpose (or access). Personal identifiable employee medical information will be retained by OSHA only for so long as needed to accomplish the purpose for access. This will be kept secure while being used and will not be disclosed to other agencies or members of the public except in narrowly defined circumstances.

Medical access orders (MAOs) are addressed in specific standards for the general industry, rules concerning OSHA access to employee medical records, and shipyard employment.

OSHA Standards

This section highlights OSHA standards, directives (instructions for compliance officers), and standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards) related to MAOs.

Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.

General Industry (29 CFR 1910)

Rules Concerning OSHA Access to Employee Medical Records (29 CFR 1913)

  • 1913.10, Rules of agency practice and procedure concerning OSHA access to employee medical records

Shipyard Employment (29 CFR 1915)

Directives

Standard Interpretations

OSHA Resources

The following links provide OSHA resources regarding the need for and accessibility of medical access orders (MAOs).


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