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Privacy Act System Notice 09-20-0118

System name: Study at Work Sites Where Agents Suspected of Being Occupational Hazards Exist. HHS/CDC/NIOSH.

Security classification: None.

System location: Division of Applied Research and Technology (DART), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Robert A. Taft Laboratories, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226.


Federal Records Center, 3150 Bertwynn Drive, Dayton, OH 45439.

Data are also occasionally located at contractor sites as studies are developed, data collected, and reports written. A list of contractor sites where individually identifiable data are currently located is available upon request to the system manager.

Also, occasionally data may be located at the facilities of collaborating researchers where analyses are performed, data collected and reports written. A list of these facilities is available upon request to the system manager.

Data may be located only at those facilities that have an adequate data security program and the collaborating researcher must return the data to NIOSH or destroy individual identifiers at the conclusion of the project.

Categories of individuals covered by the system: Subjects employed at specific sites under study.

Categories of records in the system: Occupational history, medical history, results of medical tests including results of hearing test, demographic data, employee records, psychological and psychometric tests, and data necessary to interpret the medical results.

Authority for maintenance of the system: Occupational Safety and Health Act, Section 20, "Research and Related Activities" (29 U.S.C. 669); and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, Section 501, “Research” (30 U.S.C. 951).

Purpose(s): The purpose of this system is to determine the relationship between worker exposure to hazardous agents or stressors and occupational disease. This information is used to recommend procedures to reduce the incidence of occupational disease.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses: Disclosure may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to a verified inquiry from the congressional office made at the written request of that individual.

In the event of litigation where the defendant is: (a) the Department, any component of the Department, or any employee of the Department in his or her official capacity; (b) the United States where the Department determines that the claim, if successful, is likely to directly affect the operations of the Department or any of its components; or (c) any Department employee in his or her individual capacity where the Department of Justice has agreed to represent such employee, for example, in defending a claim against the Public Health Service based upon an individual's mental or physical condition and alleged to have arisen because of activities of the Public Health Service in connection with such individual, disclosure may be made to the Department of Justice to enable that Department to present an effective defense, provided that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.

Records subject to the Privacy Act are disclosed to private firms for data entry, computer systems analysis and computer programming services. The contractors promptly return data entry records after the contracted work is completed. The contractors are required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards.

In the event of litigation initiated at the request of NIOSH, the Institute may disclose such records as it deems desirable or necessary to the Department of Justice and to the Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, where appropriate, to enable the Department to effectively represent the Institute, provided such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected. The only types of litigative proceedings that NIOSH is authorized to request are: (1) enforcement of a subpoena issued to an employer to provide relevant information; or (2) contempt citation against an employer for failure to comply with a warrant obtained by the Institute.

Disclosure may be made to NIOSH collaborating researchers (NIOSH contractors, grantees, cooperative agreement holders, or other Federal or State scientists) in order to accomplish the research purpose for which the records are collected. The collaborating researchers must agree in writing to comply with the confidentiality provisions of the Privacy Act and NIOSH must have determined that the researchers' data security procedures will protect confidentiality.

Records may be disclosed by CDC in connection with public health activities to the Social Security Administration for sources of locating information to accomplish the research or program purposes for which the records were collected.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:

Storage: File folders.

Retrievability: Name and case number are the indexes used to retrieve records from this system.


  1. Authorized Users: Access is granted to only a limited number of physicians, scientists, statisticians, and designated support staff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as authorized by the system manager to accomplish the stated purposes for which the data in this system have been collected.
  1. Physical Safeguards: Locked cabinets in locked rooms, electronic anti-intrusion devices in operation at the Federal Records Center, security guard service in buildings, personnel screening of visitors.
  1. Procedural Safeguards: Users of individually identified data protect information from public scrutiny, and only specifically authorized personnel may be admitted to the record storage area. CDC employees who maintain records are instructed to check with the system manager prior to making disclosures of data.
  1. Implementation Guidelines: Chapter 45-13, “Safeguarding Records Contained in Systems of Records,” of the HHS General Administration Manual.

Retention and disposal: Records are retained and disposed of under the authority of the CDC Records Control Schedule for NIOSH records.  Records are maintained in agency for three years. Personal identifiers are destroyed as soon as the system has stabilized, and statistical summaries can be run. Disposal methods include burning or shredding paper materials or transferring records to the Federal Records Center when no longer needed for evaluation and analysis. Records destroyed by paper recycling process when 20 years old, unless needed for further study.

System manager(s) and address: Director, Division of Applied Research and Technology (DART), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Robert A. Taft Laboratories, Rm. 354, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226.

Notification procedure: An individual may learn if a record exists about himself or herself by contacting the system manager at the address above. Requesters in person must provide driver's license or other positive identification. Individuals who do not appear in person must either: (1) submit a notarized request to verify their identity; or (2) certify that they are the individuals they claim to be and that they understand that the knowing and willful request for or acquisition of a record pertaining to an individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense under the Privacy Act subject to a $5,000 fine.

An individual who requests notification of or access to medical records shall, at the time the request is made, designate in writing a responsible representative who is willing to review the record and inform the subject individual of its contents at the representative's discretion.

The following information must be provided when requesting notification: (1) full name; (2) the approximate date and place of the study, if known; and (3) nature of the questionnaire or study in which the requester participated.

Record access procedures: Same as notification procedures. Requesters should also reasonably specify the record contents being sought. An accounting of disclosures that have been made of the record, if any, may be requested.

Contesting record procedures: Contact the official at the address specified under System Manager above, reasonably identify the record and specify the information being contested, the corrective action sought, and the reasons for requesting the correction, along with supporting information to show how the record is inaccurate, incomplete, untimely, or irrelevant.

Record source categories: Information is obtained directly from the individual and from employee records.

[Federal Register: November 24, 1986 (Volume 51, Number 226)] [Notices] [Page 42469-42471] (PDF - 1 MB)


  • Page last updated: April 11, 2012
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