From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

OSHA Backs Down on MSD Recordkeeping; Michigan Governor to Fight Ergonomics Regulation

OSHA "Temporarily" Withdraws MSD Recordkeeping Proposal

Responding to political pressure, OSHA announced yesterday it has:

… temporarily withdrawn from review by the Office of Management and Budget its proposal to restore a column for work-related musculoskeletal disorders on employer injury and illness logs. The agency has taken this action 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.

According to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels:

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders remain the leading cause of workplace injury and illness in this country, and this proposal is an effort to assist employers and OSHA in better identifying problems in workplaces. However, it is clear that the proposal has raised concern among small businesses, so OSHA is facilitating an active dialogue between the agency and the small business community.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, MSDs accounted for 28 percent of all reported workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work in 2009. Larger employers are nonetheless required to record injuries, including MSDs, on their OSHA 300 logs, but the proposed rule would have required those employers to also place a check mark in a new column for all 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. This proposal would restore the MSD column to the Form 300.

OSHA and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy jointly will hold a meeting to engage and listen to small businesses about the agency’s proposal. Small businesses from around the country will be able to participate through electronic means, such as telephone and/or a Web forum. Details of the meeting will be announced within 30 days. OSHA also will conduct a stakeholder meeting with other members of the public if requested.

Source: OSHA Press Release


Michigan Governor Vows to Fight Ergonomics Regulation

Newly elected Michigan Governor Rick Snyder had this to say about ergonomics in his recent "State of the State" address:

On the topic of regulatory reform … We will partner with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce to stop the effort to establish mandatory and overreaching regulations on ergonomic standards that have been discussed for the past few years. (transcript of entire speech)

Writing in The Detroit News, Charles Owens, the Michigan Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said:

The NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) in Michigan first blew the cover on attempts by MIOSHA staff bureaucrats to promulgate mandatory ergonomics rules on Michigan job providers back in 2001. Since that time, NFIB has rallied other business groups – including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Manufacturer’s Association, Michigan Homebuilders Association, Michigan Restaurant Association and many others – in the fight against this unnecessary, job-killing, rule proposal. The business community’s united front succeeded in slowing down the effort – and in focusing media attention on a rigged process that preferred to do its work out of public view.

Agency staff, working with organized labor, began the process under the Engler administration – keeping a low profile until the Granholm administration came into office in 2002. That was the green light the agency needed and they picked up the pace toward promulgating a rule that would, once again, make Michigan stand out among the other states as a bad place to do business. (the full article: Owens: Nerd nixes ergo-nonsense)