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§ 7311. Trade secrets

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 35 P.S. Health and Safety

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 41. Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act (Refs & Annos)
35 P.S. § 7311
§ 7311. Trade secrets
(a) Trade secret claims.--Any importer, employer, manufacturer or supplier may withhold the chemical name or other specific identification of a chemical as a trade secret, provided that:
(1) The claim that the information withheld is a trade secret can be supported by the person making the claim.
(2) The Material Safety Data Sheet discloses the information concerning the properties and effects of the chemical, if said chemical is a hazardous substance or mixture.
(3) The label and Material Safety Data Sheet indicates that the specific chemical identity is being withheld as a trade secret and specifically notes that a trade secret for a special hazardous substance is being claimed.
(4) The specific chemical identity is made available to health professionals in accordance with this section.
(5) The person making the claim files a notice of said claim with the department. Said notice shall not require the person making the claim to disclose the information which is claimed to be a trade secret.
(b) Disclosure to treating physicians and nurses.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, an employer, manufacturer, importer or supplier shall disclose the chemical identification or other information claimed as a trade secret to a treating physician or nurse when such information is needed for medical diagnosis or treatment of an exposed person. The employer, manufacturer, importer or supplier may require the physician or nurse to sign a confidentiality agreement before disclosing the trade secret. In the case of a medical emergency, the employer, manufacturer, importer or supplier shall first disclose the trade secret to the treating physician or nurse but may later require a confidentiality agreement when circumstances permit.
(c) Disclosure to other health professionals.--Upon the request of a health professional who is not a treating physician or nurse, an employer, supplier, manufacturer or importer shall disclose information which is claimed as a trade secret under the same conditions and subject to the same requirements as contained in the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR Sec. 1900.1200(i)(3), (4) and (7). A health professional who is denied such information under this section may file a complaint or charge with the department. If the department concludes that the information is not a bona fide trade secret, or that it is a trade secret but the requesting health professional has a legitimate medical or occupational health need for the information, has executed a written confidentiality agreement and has shown adequate means to protect the confidentiality of the information, the department may find the employer, supplier, manufacturer or importer in violation of this act and order them to disclose the requested information to the health professional.
(d) Confidentiality agreement restrictions.--The confidentiality agreement authorized by subsection (b) may restrict the use of the information to providing medical or other occupational health services to the exposed person, prohibit disclosure of the information to anyone who has not entered into a similar agreement with the consent of the person claiming the trade secret and provide for appropriate legal remedies in the event of a breach of the agreement. No confidentiality agreement shall include requirements for the posting of a penalty bond.
(e) Request for review of trade secret claims.--Any aggrieved person or employee representative may request the department to review trade secret claims made hereunder: Provided, That any appeal from the decision of the department shall not give said person the right of access to any information considered confidential in subsection (f)(2).
(f) Review of trade secret claims.--Upon request by any aggrieved person or employee representative, or upon its own initiative, the department shall review trade secret claims as provided herein:
(1) Within 30 days of receipt of a request for review of a trade secret claim, the department shall notify the person making the claim and require the person to file an application and supporting evidence. All proceedings shall be in conformity with Title 1 of the Pennsylvania Code (relating to general provisions). If the department finds that the information in question is not a trade secret as defined by this act, it shall order disclosure of the information. Such order shall be a final adjudication appealable to the Commonwealth Court. Any appeal shall act as a stay to any order of the department or any court which requires disclosure.
(2) All trade secret applications, pleadings, hearing transcripts, documents and other records filed with the department or any court pursuant to a review of trade secret claims or appeals thereof shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed to the public. The notice of claim filed with the department and any petition for review or other pleading filed with the courts which do not reveal either the trade secret or any information claimed as confidential shall be considered as public records. All records that reveal either the trade secret or any information claimed as confidential shall be sealed and held as confidential by the department or, upon request, returned to the employer, supplier, manufacturer or importer at the close of all proceedings hereunder. All hearings provided for under this section shall be closed to all persons except the employer, supplier, manufacturer or importer and the department.
(g) Penalty.--Any officer or employee of the Commonwealth, contractor to the Commonwealth, physician or employee of a county health department, local fire department or local police department who has access to any confidential information and who willingly or knowingly discloses the confidential information to any person not authorized to receive it, shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree. The person or institution which discloses the confidential information is liable for damages to the full extent of those damages. Violation of this section shall be prima facie evidence of trespass under Pennsylvania common law.
(h) Protection of confidential information.--Information certified to by appropriate officials of the Federal Government as “necessarily kept secret” for national defense purposes shall be accorded the full protection against disclosure as specified by such official or in accordance with Federal law.


1984, Oct. 5, P.L. 734, No. 159, § 11, effective in 1 year.
35 P.S. § 7311, PA ST 35 P.S. § 7311
Current through the end of the 2023 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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