OSHA Won't Modify Recordkeeping Form to include Musculoskeletal Disorders

June 30, 2003
OSHA has decided not to modify the form employers use to record workplace injuries and illnesses to include a separate column for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), the agency announced today.

"This decision does not change the current way injuries or illnesses are recorded and does not affect an employer's obligation to record work-related injuries, including musculoskeletal disorders," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "Employers will continue to check the column for 'injury' or 'all other illness' depending on the circumstances of the case."

OSHA concluded an additional recordkeeping column would not substantially improve the national injury statistics, nor would it be of benefit to employers and workers because the column would not provide additional information useful to identifying possible causes or methods to prevent injury.

The agency also determined that useful information about MSD cases is available from currently published statistics. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national statistics already include comprehensive information about ergonomic-related injuries that result in days away from work, the number and incidence rate of these disorders and detailed information on the nature of MSD injuries and illnesses. In addition, the agency believes such information is currently available for individual establishments in the case description section of the OSHA 300 Log and in the 301 Incident Report.

OSHA published a Federal Register notice in December 2002 that delayed a change in the recordkeeping form regarding a separate column for musculoskeletal disorders until Jan. 1, 2004.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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