From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

OSHA Seeks Comments on Delayed MSD Definition

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will seek comments on a proposal involving the recording of MSDs on OSHA’s injury and illness logs. The agency also plans to issue a final rule that revises the criteria for recording work-related hearing loss.

The specific rules being discussed are:

  • Sec. 1904.12: Which defines “musculoskeletal disorder” (MSD) and requires employers to check the MSD column on the OSHA Log if an employee experiences a work-related musculoskeletal disorder; and

  • Sec. 1904.29(b)(7)(vi): Which states that MSDs are not considered privacy concern cases.

In July of 2001, OSHA said it was reconsidering the section that required employers check the MSD column on the OSHA Log for a case involving a “musculoskeletal disorder” as defined in that section. OSHA cited it would be “premature to implement the new definition of MSD before considering the views of business, labor and the public health community on the problem of ergonomic hazards.”

OSHA also voiced concern that it would create “confusion and uncertainty” to require employers to implement the new MSD definition while Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao was developing a comprehensive plan to address ergonomic hazards and holding forums to determine how to define an ergonomic injury.

While OSHA has recently announced industry targeted guidelines, no definition has been proposed.

Written comments on the agency’s proposal to delay the recordkeeping rule’s definition of
“musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and whether to include MSDs and hearing loss columns on recordkeeping forms, must be submitted by August 30, 2002, in triplicate to the Docket Office, Docket R-02B, Room N2625, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20210, (202) 693-2350.

Because of security-related problems in receiving regular mail service in a timely manner, OSHA is requesting that comments be hand-delivered to the Docket Office, or sent by Express Mail or other overnight delivery service, electronic mail, or facsimile at (202) 693-1648.

The final rule on the criteria for recording work related hearing loss and the notice soliciting comment on the definition of MSDs and columns for MSDs and hearing loss appeared in the July 1, 2002 Federal Register.