The University of Iowa

Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records


OSHA regulations require employers to maintain employee exposure and medical records for a minimum of 30 years and to provide access to these records free of charge to the employee or designated representative within fifteen working days upon written request. Examples of these records include workplace monitoring of exposure levels to harmful agents and medical records for employment-related injuries and illnesses.

This guideline applies to all University and UIHC faculty and staff and to University units that maintain exposure and medical records as defined by OSHA. It includes a form to request access and describes how units maintaining the records provide access.

The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Regulation “Access to employee exposure and medical records” is found in the General Industry Standards at 29 CFR 1910.1020, and in the  Construction Standards at 29 CFR 1926.33. The two standards are identical and were adopted by the state of Iowa and apply to the University.

University of Iowa Policy Manual, Part III Human Resources, Division VIII Other Human Resources Policies, Chapter 37 Policy on Access to Medical and Exposure Records.

Access – The right and opportunity to examine, and copy or be provided a copy.
Designated Representative – any individual or organization to whom an employee gives written authorization to exercise a right of access. For the purposes of access to employee exposure records and analyses using exposure or medical records, a recognized or certified collective bargaining agent shall be treated automatically as a designated representative without regard to written employee authorization.
Employee – A current, or former employee, or employee being assigned or transferred to work where there will be exposure to toxic substances or harmful physical agents.
Employee Exposure Record – Workplace environmental monitoring records for toxic substances and harmful physical agents that are to be maintained by the employer for 30 years such as chemicals, noise, radiation monitoring data, and treatment for work-related injuries or illnesses.
Employee Medical Record – Records concerning the employee’s exposures and health status related to the course of employment and usually made or maintained by a physician, nurse, or health care professional that are to be maintained by the employer for 30 years after termination of employment
Exposure(s) – Present and past exposure and potential accidental or possible exposure to toxic substances and harmful physical agents.

1. Information for All Employees

Employees will be informed at the time of employment and annually thereafter of their right to access work-related exposure and medical records. This notification is accomplished via University-wide email from Human Resources to all University faculty and staff.

2. Requesting Access to Records

  • For Exposure Records: The individual or designated representative should complete the request form and submit it to the office maintaining the record. Exposure records are maintained by the Environmental Health & Safety Office and the UIHC Safety and Security Office. Examples of exposure records include radiation monitoring data for those who work with radioactive materials, noise, or toxic air contaminants. Contact EHS directly for radiation dosimeter records.  

  • For Medical Records:  Employee medical records, i.e., those for treatment of workplace injuries or illnesses, are kept at the Health Information Management Office, UI Occupational Health, and the University Employee Health Clinic. To access these records, contact UI Health Care Human Resources for hospital employees and the University's Employee and Labor Relations Office in Human Resources for all other University employees; however, contact EHS directly for radiation dosimeter records.

3. Providing Access to Records

  • University offices or units maintaining exposure and medical records should consult the OSHA standard when providing access to records to ensure compliance with rules specific to the type of records request.
  • The initial access (a copy) will be provided to the requestor free of charge.
  • Offices maintaining the records will provide access within fifteen working days or inform the requestor when the records will be provided if the fifteen day time period can not be met.

General questions:
Environmental Health & Safety Office, 335-8501

Exposure Records:
University employees: Environmental Health & Safety Office, 335-8501
Hospital employees: UIHC Safety & Security Office, 356-2658

Medical Records:
UEHC at University Hospital, 356-3631

Communicable Diseases: 
University employees: Human Resources Faculty and Staff Services, 335-2085
Hospital employees: Hospital Human Resources, 356-2008