OSHA delays musculoskeletal recording requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced last month it has delayed implementing requirements for recording musculoskeletal disorders for one year. Employers won’t need to record employment-related MSDs in OSHA logs until Jan. 1, 2004.

OSHA is postponing three provisions related to MSDs: the rule’s definition of MSDs, consideration of MSDs as privacy concern cases and requirements to check an MSD column on the OSHA 300 log.

The MSD requirements would have applied to the construction industry, but debate surrounding the definitions contributed to OSHA’s decision to delay implementation so the issue can be further considered.

OSHA pointed out the delay doesn’t affect an employer’s obligation to record workplace injuries and illnesses or keep workplaces free from hazards. But employers won’t be required to use an MSD definition to categorize cases on the OSHA 300 log for calendar year 2003. Instead, they must check the column for “injury” or “all other illnesses,” depending on the circumstances of the case.