OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

April 3, 1995

Ross S. Myerson, M.D.
Senior Clinical Associate
Washington Occupational Health Associates, Inc.
1120 19th Street, NW,
Suite 410
Washington, DC 20036

Dear Dr. Myerson:

This is in response to your letter of February 22, 1995 addressed to Mr. John B. Miles. Your letter was referred to this office for a reply. Please accept our apology for the delay in this response.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states in Subpart C of 29 CFR 1910.1020 that "record means any item, collection or grouping of information regardless of the form or process by which it is maintained (e.g. paper document, microfiche, microfilm, X-ray film or automated data processing)". Therefore, maintenance of medical records in the electronic form is acceptable to the agency. OSHA's main concern would be with the accessibility of those records.

We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please contact Carla Marcellus of my staff on 202/219-8041 ext. 105.


Raymond E. Donnelly, Director
Office of General Industry Compliance


February 22, 1995

John Miles
Director of Compliance Programs
Occupational Health & Safety Administration
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.,
Room N3468
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Mr. Miles:

I have inquired over the telephone with regard to the acceptability of maintenance in electronic format, of medical records related to medical surveillance programs compliant with OSHA's regulations. I have spoken with Mr. Bob Whitmore and Dr. Mike Montopli. It is my understanding that maintenance of records in the electronic (computer) form is acceptable so long as a hard copy can be generated from the electronic record. Please confirm this for me.

I appreciate your attention to this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Ross S. Myerson, M.D., M.P.H.
Senior Clinical Associate