OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
TRADE NEWS RELEASE
Friday, June 28, 2002
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999
OSHA TO ISSUE FINAL RULE ON RECORDING HEARING LOSS
Agency Will Seek Comments on Delaying MSD Provisions
Beginning Jan. 1, 2003, employers will be required to record work-related hearing loss cases when an employee's hearing test shows a marked decrease in overall hearing. Employers can make adjustments for hearing loss caused by aging, seek the advice of a physician or licensed health care professional to determine if the loss is work-related, and perform additional hearing tests to verify the persistence of the hearing loss.
"Hearing loss can result in a serious disability and put employees at risk of being injured on the job," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "This approach will help employers better protect their workers and help all of us improve our national injury and illness statistics and prevent future hearing loss among our nation's workers."
Under the new rule, the criteria will record 10-decibel shifts from the employee's initial hearing test when they also result in an overall hearing level of 25 decibels. The old criteria recorded 25-decibel shifts.
The agency is also seeking public comments on a proposed one-year delay of the recordkeeping rule's definition of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and whether to include MSDs and hearing loss columns on the OSHA Form 300 Log of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.
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 is scheduled to appear in the July 1, 2002 Federal Register (2): [67:44037-44048 - Final Rule] [67:44124-44127 - Comments].
Detailed information on the Agency's recordkeeping requirements is available on OSHA's web site.
The text of this news release is on the World Wide Web at www.osha.gov. Information on this news release will be made available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Phone: (202) 693-1999.
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