OSH Act 657

OSH Sec.657 ('19).pdf

Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories (29 CFR 1910.1450)

OSH Act 657

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SEC. 8. Inspections, Investigations, and Recordkeeping
(a) In order to carry out the purposes of this Act, the Secretary, upon
presenting appropriate credentials to the owner, operator, or agent in
charge, is authorized -(1) to enter without delay and at reasonable times any factory,
plant, establishment, construction site, or other area, workplace or
environment where work is performed by an employee of an
employer; and
(2) to inspect and investigate during regular working hours and at
other reasonable times, and within reasonable limits and in a
reasonable manner, any such place of employment and all pertinent
conditions, structures, machines, apparatus, devices, equipment,
and materials therein, and to question privately any such employer,
owner, operator, agent or employee.
(b) In making his inspections and investigations under this Act the
Secretary may require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and
the production of evidence under oath. Witnesses shall be paid the
same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the
United States. In case of a contumacy, failure, or refusal of any person
to obey such an order, any district court of the United States or the
United States courts of any territory or possession, within the
jurisdiction of which such person is found, or resides or transacts
business, upon the application by the Secretary, shall have jurisdiction
to issue to such person an order requiring such person to appear to
produce evidence if, as, and when so ordered, and to give testimony
relating to the matter under investigation or in question, and any failure
to obey such order of the court may be punished by said court as a
contempt thereof.
(c) (1) Each employer shall make, keep and preserve, and make
available to the Secretary or the Secretary of Health and Human
Services, such records regarding his activities relating to this Act as the
Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Health and Human
Services, may prescribe by regulation as necessary or appropriate for
the enforcement of this Act or for developing information regarding the
causes and prevention of occupational accidents and illnesses. In order
to carry out the provisions of this paragraph such regulations may
include provisions requiring employers to conduct periodic inspections.
The Secretary shall also issue regulations requiring that employers,
through posting of notices or other appropriate means, keep their
employees informed of their protections and obligations under this Act,
including the provisions of applicable standards.

(2) The Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Health and
Human Services, shall prescribe regulations requiring employers to
maintain accurate records of, and to make periodic reports on,
work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses other than minor injuries
requiring only first aid treatment and which do not involve medical
treatment, loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, or
transfer to another job.
(3) The Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Health and
Human Services, shall issue regulations requiring employers to

29 USC 657

maintain accurate records of employee exposures to potentially toxic
materials or harmful physical agents which are required to be
monitored or measured under section 6. Such regulations shall
provide employees or their representatives with an opportunity to
observe such monitoring or measuring, and to have access to the
records thereof. Such regulations shall also make appropriate
provision for each employee or former employee to have access to
such records as will indicate his own exposure to toxic materials or
harmful physical agents. Each employer shall promptly notify any
employee who has been or is being exposed to toxic materials or
harmful physical agents in concentrations or at levels which exceed
those prescribed by an applicable occupational safety and health
standard promulgated under section 6, and shall inform any
employee who is being thus exposed of the corrective action being
(d) Any information obtained by the Secretary, the Secretary of Health
and Human Services, or a State agency under this Act shall be obtained
with a minimum burden upon employers, especially those operating
small businesses. Unnecessary duplication of efforts in obtaining
information shall be reduced to the maximum extent feasible.
(e) Subject to regulations issued by the Secretary, a representative of
the employer and a representative authorized by his employees shall be
given an opportunity to accompany the Secretary or his authorized
representative during the physical inspection of any workplace under
subsection (a) for the purpose of aiding such inspection. Where there is
no authorized employee representative, the Secretary or his authorized
representative shall consult with a reasonable number of employees
concerning matters of health and safety in the workplace.
(f) (1) Any employees or representative of employees who believe that
a violation of a safety or health standard exists that threatens physical
harm, or that an imminent danger exists, may request an inspection by
giving notice to the Secretary or his authorized representative of such
violation or danger. Any such notice shall be reduced to writing, shall
set forth with reasonable particularity the grounds for the notice, and
shall be signed by the employees or representative of employees, and a
copy shall be provided the employer or his agent no later than at the
time of inspection, except that, upon the request of the person giving
such notice, his name and the names of individual employees referred
to therein shall not appear in such copy or on any record published,
released, or made available pursuant to subsection (g) of this section. If
upon receipt of such notification the Secretary determines there are
reasonable grounds to believe that such violation or danger exists, he
shall make a special inspection in accordance with the provisions of this
section as soon as practicable, to determine if such violation or danger
exists. If the Secretary determines there are no reasonable grounds to
believe that a violation or danger exists he shall notify the employees or
representative of the employees in writing of such determination.

(2) Prior to or during any inspection of a workplace, any employees
or representative of employees employed in such workplace may
notify the Secretary or any representative of the Secretary
responsible for conducting the inspection, in writing, of any violation
of this Act which they have reason to believe exists in such
workplace. The Secretary shall, by regulation, establish procedures
for informal review of any refusal by a representative
of the

Secretary to issue a citation with respect to any such alleged
violation and shall furnish the employees or representative of
employees requesting such review a written statement of the
reasons for the Secretary's final disposition of the case.
(g) (1) The Secretary and Secretary of Health and Human Services are
authorized to compile, analyze, and publish, either in summary or
detailed form, all reports or information obtained under this section.
(2) The Secretary and the Secretary of Health and Human Services
shall each prescribe such rules and regulations as he may deem
necessary to carry out their responsibilities under this Act, including
rules and regulations dealing with the inspection of an employer's
(h) The Secretary shall not use the results of enforcement activities,
such as the number of citations issued or penalties assessed, to
evaluate employees directly involved in enforcement activities under
this Act or to impose quotas or goals with regard to the results of such


Pub. L. 105-198 added
subsection (h).

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