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Release Number: 10-135-NAT
Jan. 28, 2010
Contact: Diana Petterson
Phone: 202-693-1898

US Department of Labor's OSHA proposes recordkeeping change to improve illness data

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing to revise its Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting (recordkeeping) regulation by restoring a column on the OSHA Form 300 to better identify work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The rule does not change existing requirements for when and under what circumstances employers must record musculoskeletal disorders on their injury and illness logs.

Many employers are currently required to keep a record of workplace injuries and illnesses, including work-related MSDs, on the OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). The proposed rule would require employers to place a check mark in a column for all MSDs they have recorded.

The proposed requirements are identical to those contained in the OSHA recordkeeping regulation that was issued in 2001. Prior to 2001, OSHA's injury and illness logs contained a column for repetitive trauma disorders that included noise and MSDs. In 2001, OSHA separated noise and MSDs into two separate columns, but the MSD column was deleted in 2003 before the provision became effective. OSHA is now proposing to restore the MSD column to the OSHA Form 300 log.

"Restoring the MSD column will improve the ability of workers and employers to identify and prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders by providing simple and easily accessible information," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "It will also improve the accuracy and completeness of national work-related injury and illness data."

For more information, view OSHA's proposal at: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=21314. This notice will be published in the Jan. 29 edition of the Federal Register.

Interested parties may submit comments on the proposed rule electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the federal e-rulemaking portal; or by mailing three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20210; or by fax at 202-693-1648 if the comments and attachments do not exceed 10 pages.

Comments must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking (Docket Number OSHA-2009-0044). The deadline for submitting comments is March 15. OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule March 9.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


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