The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. Although NIOSH is generally characterized as a non-regulatory agency, guidance and recommendations issued by NIOSH are often used by other agencies responsible for developing and enforcing workplace safety and health regulations.
NIOSH is also directly responsible for several regulations. These regulations mostly outline procedures and requirements for specific health and safety related matters involving a particular industry or set forth rules for NIOSH to follow in administering programs assigned to the Institute. The regulations include rules regarding the following:
- The Coal Workers Health Surveillance Program which describes x-ray screening of underground coal miners, autopsies, and operation of the B-reader program for classifying pneumoconiosis;
- NIOSH grants and educational training programs;
- Implementation of HHS responsibilities under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness and Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA);
- Approval of respiratory protective equipment;
- Conducting investigations at places of employment for the Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) program and for occupational safety and health research; and
- Implementation of the World Trade Center Health Program.
The NIOSH regulations are found in the following parts of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and are linked below.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
|42 C.F.R. pt. 37external icon||Specifications for Medical Examinations of Underground Coal Miners|
|42 C.F.R. pt. 81external icon||Guidelines for Determining Probability of Causation Under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000|
|42 C.F.R. pt. 82external icon||Methods for Conducting Dose Reconstruction Under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000|
|42 C.F.R. pt. 83external icon||Procedures for Designating Classes of Employees as Members of the Special Exposure Cohort Under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000|
|42 C.F.R. pt. 84external icon||Approval of Respiratory Protective Devices|
|42 C.F.R. pt. 85aexternal icon||Occupational Safety and Health Investigations of Places of Employment|
|42 C.F.R. pt. 85external icon||Requests for Health Hazard Evaluations|
|42 C.F.R. pt. 86external icon||Grants for Education Programs in Occupational Safety and Health|
|42 C.F.R. pt. 87external icon||National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Research and Demonstration Grants|
|42 C.F.R. pt. 88external icon||World Trade Center Health Program|
Formerly Relevant OSHA Requirements: 29 CFR 1910.1020, 29 CFR 1910, subpart Z
Employers are no longer required to notify and transfer records to NIOSH
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) previously required employers to transfer employee exposure and medical records to NIOSH if: (1) the employer was going out of business without a successor, (2) the retention period for records had expired or, (3) due to the termination of a worker’s employment. However, on June 8, 2011, OSHA deleted these transfer requirements from its substance-specific standards in 29 CFR 1910, subpart Z, as well as from its regulation at 29 CFR 1910.20, Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records. See, 76 Federal Register 33590, 33598. As such, employers are no longer required to notify and/or transfer OSHA-required records to NIOSH.
Although employers are no longer required to notify and/or transfer records to NIOSH, OSHA’s current regulation at 29 CFR 1910.1020(h)(1) provides that whenever an employer is ceasing to do business, they must “transfer all records subject to this section to the successor employer. The successor employer shall receive and maintain these records.”
Also, OSHA’s regulation at 29 CFR 1910.1020(h)(2) requires that: “Whenever an employer is ceasing to do business and there is no successor employer to receive and maintain the records subject to this standard, the employer shall notify affected current employees of their rights of access to records at least three (3) months prior to the cessation of the employer’s business.”
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Office of the Director