OSHA Rethinks Proposed MSD Column

02.10.2011
HR & Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has temporarily withdrawn its proposal to restore a column for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on employer injury and illness logs. The agency says it needs to seek greater input from small businesses on the impact of the proposal and will do so through outreach in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.

The proposal was meant to assist employers in better identifying problems in the workplace, says OSHA, but it clearly has raised concern among the small business community.

The proposed rule would not change existing requirements about when and under what circumstances employers must record MSDs. Prior to 2001, OSHA’s injury and illness logs contained a column for repetitive trauma disorders that included noise and many kinds of MSDs. In 2001, OSHA separated noise and MSDs into two columns, but the MSD column was deleted in 2003 before the provision became effective. The new rule would restore the MSD column to the Form 300.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, MSDs accounted for 28% of all reported injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work in 2009.

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