Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Labor and Industry
Safety and Health Codes Board
Federal Identical General Industry Standards [16 VAC 25 ‑ 90]
Chapter is Exempt from Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act
Action is Exempt from Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act
Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records
Action 3037
General Information
Action Summary In 1990, when the Safety and Health Codes Board (“the Board”) initially considered adoption of this OSHA identical change, it was reticent to adopt the revised standard for the following reasons: the federal revision no longer required first aid records to be retained by the employer; the retention of all records versus just those records specific to establishing baseline levels or detecting occupational illness; and that only chest x-rays were to be kept in original form and no records would be required to be kept of employees of less than one year’s duration. The advances of medical technology and digital records retention over the last 18 years have rendered many of the implicit record storage concerns moot. There is also the substantial experience of federal OSHA in those states of direct federal enforcement of 29 CFR 1910.1020 to show that the effects of these 1990 changes have not been problematic. Federal OSHA also noted in its initial regulatory preamble to this change that…. “it deemed it necessary to modify the regulation so as to strike a better balance between providing employees with information necessary to maintain the benefits established by the regulation and at the same time protect legitimate trade secrets.” [53 FR 38158] Department staff noted the numerous additional requirements in the current federal standard when staff prepared a side-by-side comparison of the text of both the Virginia unique standard and that of the federal standard. The side-by-side comparison of the two standards highlighted federal OSHA’s significant effort to solve the regulatory dilemma caused by seeking to accommodate the competing interests between the need for chemical identity disclosure for medical treatment of a patient’s health problems, which may be a result of chemical exposure, and significantly stronger trade secret protection for the employer that, once lost, cannot be fully recaptured. Under this regulatory review opportunity, the Board approved the Department’s recommendation to repeal this state unique regulation which the Department determined does not meet the “as effective as” requirement under the State Plan Agreement with federal OSHA, and to adopt the current OSHA standard at 29 CFR 1910.1020. This action adopting the current federal regulation will have the added benefit of providing greater regulatory consistency of occupational safety and health standards with adjacent jurisdictions for those employers who work across state lines.
Chapters Affected
  VAC Chapter Name Action Type
Primary 16 VAC 25-90 Federal Identical General Industry Standards Amend Existing Regulation
Other chapters
  16 VAC 25 - 80 Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records
Executive Branch Review This Action is exempt from Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act. The normal executive branch review process is not required. As such, it can be submitted directly for publication and is effective upon publication.
Exempt Citation: This regulatory action is exempt from executive branch review pursuant to § 2.2-4006 of the Virginia Administrative Process Act (APA)
RIS Project Yes  [001951]
Result of Prior Periodic Review Filed 12/8/2008
New Periodic Review This action will not be used to conduct a new periodic review.
Stages associated with this regulatory action.
Stage ID Stage Type Status
5128 Final Stage complete. This regulation became effective on 08/20/2009.
Contact Information
Name / Title: Cristin Bernhardt  / Regulatory Coordinator / Staff Attorney
Address: Main Street Centre
600 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Email Address:
Phone: (804)786-2392    FAX: (804)786-2641    TDD: ()-

This person is the primary contact for this agency.