Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1926.1101(m)(4); 1910.134(m); 1910.134(m)(2); 1910.134(m)(4)


October 20, 2005

Ms. Peggy Teeling
163 Anthony Road
Clifton Park, New York 12065-2600

Dear Ms. Teeling:

Thank you for your August 24, 2005 letter to the Occupations Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Correspondence Control Unit. Your letter was referred to OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs for response. You have questions regarding an employer's obligation to an asbestos worker who quits and moves to another job. 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. Your paraphrased questions and our replies are below.

Question 1: With respect to the medical examination that the employer must make available to an asbestos worker under the medical surveillance program for asbestos exposure, is the employee entitled to the actual full report itself or is a clearance or summary type report of the physical from the doctor acceptable?

Reply: According to 29 CFR 1926.1101(m)(4)(iii) in OSHA's construction asbestos standard, the employer must provide a copy of the physician's written opinion to the employee within 30 days from its receipt.

The information that must be included in the physician's written opinion is specified under 1926.1101(m)(4)(i) and (ii). According to these provisions:
(i) The employer shall obtain a written opinion from the examining physician. This written opinion shall contain the results of the medical examination and shall include:
(A) The physician's opinion as to whether the employee has any detected medical conditions that would place the employee at an increased risk of material health impairment from exposure to asbestos;
(B) Any recommended limitations on the employee or on the use of personal protective equipment such as respirators; and
(C) A statement that the employee has been informed by the physician of the results of the medical examination and of any medical conditions that may results from asbestos exposure;
(D) A statement that the employee has been informed by the physician of the increased risk of lung cancer attributable to the combined effect of smoking and asbestos exposure.
(ii) The employer must instruct the physician not to reveal in the written opinion given to the employer specific findings or diagnoses unrelated to occupational exposure to asbestos.
Question 2: Is the employee entitled to copy of his/her mask fit test when he/she leaves employment?

Reply: According to 29 CFR 1910.134(m) of OSHA's respiratory protection standard, the employer is required to establish and retain written information regarding respirator fit testing. The provision at 29 CFR 1910.134(m)(4) establishes that this written material must be made available upon request to affected employees for examination and copying. THis written material constitutes fit testing records and the provision at 29 CFR 1910.134(m)(2)(ii) requires the employer to retain the records for respirator users until the next fit test is administered.

The required content of the fit testing records is set forth at 29 CFR 1910.134(m)(2)(i), which stipulates that the employer must establish a record of the qualitative and quantitative fit tests administered to an employee including:
  • 1910.134(m)(2)(i)(A) The name or identification of the employee tested;
  • 1910.134(m)(2)(i(B) Type of fit test performed;
  • 1910.134(m)(2)(i)(C) Specific make, model, style, and size of respirator tested;
  • 1910.134(m)(2)(i)(D) Date of test; and
  • 1910.134(m)(2)(i)(E) The pass/fail results for qualitative fit test (QLFTs) or the fit factor and strip chart recording or other recording of the test results for quantitative fit tests (QNFTs).
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 the 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 atwww.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Health Enforcement at (202)693-2190.

Sincerely,



Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs


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