The Department of Labor's enforcement plan for ergonomics focuses on industries and employers with known high injury and illness rates related to ergonomic hazards. OSHA coordinates inspections with a legal strategy designed to target prosecutable ergonomic violations. Serious ergonomics hazards will be addressed using Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act, often referred to as the General Duty Clause. Ergonomics inspection teams work closely with DOL attorneys and experts to successfully bring prosecutions under the General Duty Clause.
There are several states that operate their own occupational safety and health programs, and some of them have adopted ergonomic standards which are enforceable. If you live in one of a State Plan States, you should contact that program administrator for further information.
Ergonomic Enforcement Plan
This Ergonomic Enforcement Plan describes the approach that OSHA is taking to address ergonomic related injuries occurring in America’s workplaces.
General Duty Clause
The General Duty Clause describes the employer's obligation to "furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees." This clause from the OSH Act is utilized to cite serious hazards where no specific OSHA standard exists to address the hazard, as is the case with ergonomic stressors.
When OSHA uses the General Duty Clause to cite an employer, OSHA must demonstrate that:
Ergonomic Enforcement Activities
Related Ergonomic Links
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Ergonomics: Enforcement.