OSHA Schedules Teleconferences for Small Businesses to Provide Input on Proposed MSD Column

OSHA, in partnership with the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, announced a series of three teleconferences to reach out to the small business community for input on the agency’s proposal to add a column for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on employer injury and illness logs.

This proposal would require those employers already mandated to keep injury and illness records to add the step of checking a column when recording work-related musculoskeletal disorders. OSHA first introduced this proposal in its Fall 2009 regulatory agenda with plans for it to become a final rule in 2010 or 2011. On Jan. 25, however, OSHA announced it was temporarily withdrawing this proposal because of concerns from small businesses.

OSHA encourages small businesses from around the country to participate in the teleconferences. The first will be held on Monday, April 11, at 1:30 p.m. EDT. The second and third will be held Tuesday, April 12, 2011, at 9 a.m. EDT and 1:30 p.m. EDT. Participants may provide input about their experiences in recording work-related MSDs and how they believe the proposed rule would impact them.

The proposed rule only covers MSDs that employers are already required to record under the longstanding OSHA rule on recordkeeping. Prior to 2001, OSHA’s injury and illness logs contained a column for repetitive trauma disorders that included hearing loss and many kinds of MSDs. In 2001, OSHA proposed separating hearing loss and MSDs into two columns, but the MSD column was deleted in 2003 before the provision became effective. OSHA’s proposal would restore the MSD column to the Form 300.

Interested businesses that wish to participate in one of the teleconferences should contact Regina Powers at [email protected] by April 4 and indicate the teleconference in which they wish to participate.

Additional information is available online at http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/MSD_Column_Meeting_General_Info.html.

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