The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Tuesday it has withdrawn from review by the Office of Management and Budget a proposal to restore a column for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in employer injury and illness logs. OSHA said it did so to seek more input from small businesses on the impact of the proposal.
This marks the second time in two weeks that OSHA has withdrawn a proposal. On Jan. 19, the agency withdrew a proposed interpretation regarding sound control in the workplace. OSHA cited the need for more resources as well as pressure from Congressional leaders as the reason for that withdrawal.
The proposal on MSD reporting would not change existing requirements as to when and how MSDs should be recorded in injury and illness logs, but it would affect have affected a number of small businesses that currently don't have to keep count.
Many employers are required to record workplace injuries and illnesses on the OSHA Form 300, which includes MSDs. The new rule would require employers to record MSDs and place markings in the new column for such injuries. OSHA originally required MSDs and other related injuries, which included noise and sounds injuries, to be recorded as repetitive trauma disorders In 2001 MSDs and noise injuries were divided into separate columns, and in 2003 MSDs column was eliminated. The new proposal would restore the column.
MSDs accounted for 28% of all reported workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work in 2009, OSHA said, citing Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
"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," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "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."
OSHA and the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy will had a joint meeting to gather information and input from small businesses about the proposal.