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.

February 17, 1999

Dr. Jeff R. Moore, M.D.
P.O.Box 3835
Amarillo, Texas 79116-3835

Dear Dr. Moore:

This is in response to your letter dated December 31, 1998, addressed to Mr. Joseph DuBois, Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Office of Statistics, in which you asked about the proper means of attending to your employee's OSHA records upon your retirement from clinical practice. Thank you for your inquiry. Your request is outlined below, followed by OSHA's interpretation.

"I have retired from the practice of medicine and no one has assumed my practice. I have a very small amount of OSHA records regarding my employees. Please advise how I might dispose of the records."

The Code for Federal Regulations, 29 CFR 1910.1020, Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records outlines the correct process of managing employee records. According to that regulation, whenever an employer either is ceasing to do business and there is no successor employer to receive and maintain the records, or intends to dispose of any records required to be preserved for at least thirty (30) years, the employer shall do one of two things. An employer must transfer the records to the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or they must notify the Director of NIOSH in writing of the impending disposal of records at least three (3) months prior to the disposal of the records. Depending on the content of the OSHA records, you may wish to share the information in them with the specific employee to whom they belong before transfer or disposal.

Your employee records can be sent directly to:

Ms. Joyce Salg
NIOSH - Cincinnati Office
4676 Columbia Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45211

We hope this information is useful to you, and if you need further assistance regarding this matter, please, call Ms. Joyce Salg at (513) 841-4209, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m, Eastern Standard Time. Information is also available on NIOSH's Internet webpage site, address located at: www.cdc.gov/niosh.


Richard E. Fairfax
Directorate of Compliance Programs