- Standard Number:
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.
June 2, 2009
Mr. Ryan H. Ruckel, Sr.,
Associated Affect, LLC
P.O. Box 66
Winfield. MO 63389
Dear Mr. Ruckel:
Thank you for your April 14,2009 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP) regarding questions on the maintenance of medical evaluation and fit test records as required by the Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134. We have paraphrased your questions below followed by our responses. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence.
Question 1: Should respirator medical evaluation questionnaires be maintained or destroyed by the physician or licensed healthcare provider (PLHCP) after the completion of the medical evaluation?
Reply 1: The respiratory protection standard requires an employer to retain and make available records of medical evaluations (including medical determinations and the questionnaires) in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1020, Access to Employee Medical and Exposure Records. All information from the questionnaire and/or the medical exam is confidential, and arrangements must be made by the employer to ensure it is kept confidential. Usually, the employer will have the records maintained by the PLHCP.
Question 2: Should the employer ensure that respirator medical evaluation questionnaires are not kept with employee records?
Reply 2: Yes. Medical records are to be kept confidential and separate from other employee records (e.g., timesheets, training).
Question 3: Is the employer only required to maintain the written recommendation regarding an employee's medical determination from the PLHCP in accordance with 1910.134(e)(6)?
Reply 3: All medical records (including the medical determination) must be kept and made available by the employer as required by 1910.134(m)(1) and 1910.1020.
Question 4: Is it acceptable for the program administrator to "pre-complete" questions 10-19 of the respirator medical questionnaire with standard information?
Reply 4: Pre-filling any part of the medical questionnaire by the employer is not appropriate. The employee should be trained by the employer, so that the employee can answer the questions. Furthermore, the requirement under 1910.134(e)(5) requires for the employer to provide the PLHCP with supplemental information for each employee. This requires providing the PLHCP with the answers to similar questions, as well as a copy of the employer's respiratory protection program and a copy of the standard. However, it is not mandatory to complete questions 10 through 19 of the respirator medical questionnaire unless requested by the PLCHP.
Question 5: Are there any additional recordkeeping requirements for fit test results that would prevent the department from destroying historical fit test records, as long a current test record is maintained?
Reply 5: There are no additional requirements. 29 CFR 1910.134(m)(2)(ii) only requires fit testing records to be retained by the employer until the next fit test is administered.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. 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 http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Health Enforcement at 202-693-2190.
Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs