Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

May 8, 1997



FROM: JOHN B. MILES, JR., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
SUBJECT: Federal Agency Recordkeeping


Region X has requested policy guidance regarding the logging of illness claims filed after an individual has retired. The agency is to record this case on their log at the time the claim is filed. OSHA's rule is that the log is to reflect, as a minimum, the injury and illness cases created in the time frame reflected by the log. Therefore, the case create date, rather than the dates of exposure or employment, control the annual log on which the case is to be recorded.

A second issue raised by the Region involves situations where an employee experienced a hearing loss of one or more standard threshold shifts (STS), which were recorded on the appropriate annual logs, and later, possibly after retirement, filed a claim for hearing loss. This claim is to be recorded on the injury/illness log on the basis of the case create date. Furthermore having a claim filed for an occupational hearing loss, and appropriately entered on the annual log, does not eliminate the requirement to record a significant threshold shift.

To be very clear on this matter; whenever a former Federal employee (even one who has been retired or otherwise separated from Federal service for 5, 10, or more years) files a claim with OWCP for an occupational illness such as hearing loss or asbestosis, that illness is to be recorded on the log of injuries and illnesses for that fiscal year. For example, a claim filed in May 1997 for asbestosis due to occupational exposure occurring in the late l950s would be recorded on the log for FY 1997.

As in any case where an agency fails to record an injury/illness claim or other required information on the log, such an omission would be considered to be a violation of OSHA's recordkeeping requirements for Federal agencies and subject to issuance of a Federal agency notice.