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Laboratory recordkeeping requirements

Since this blog began there have been a number of questions regarding record keeping. OSHA requires specific records for laboratories, each with designated retention, so keeping track of them can be tricky.

But these records are a requirement during an inspection. ISO 15189: 2003 [1]contains specific requirements for medical labs, but these standards are not required by law. Therefore you must pay particular attention to recordkeeping requirements from federal authorities such as OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Joint Commission and CAP if you are an accredited facility.

The length of time for each set of records is determined at the local, state, or federal level, so it’s important to consult the appropriate authorities for a verifiable answer. It is the lab safety officer’s job to ensure all records are kept and transferred in accordance with OSHA requirements [2].

If the lab goes out of business and there is no successor to receive the records, they should be transferred to the area’s OSHA director within three months.

For more assistance, go to the Tools page for a free downloadable form that outlines each record and its retention a period [3].