Law & Order

OSHA Withdraws Employer Mandate to Track Repetitive-Motion Complaints

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) withdrew a proposal to require employers with 10 or more workers to record certain work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in their OSHA 300 Log. An OSHA 300 Log is a record of work-related injuries and illnesses that many employers are required to maintain. MSDs are defined by OSHA as disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage and spinal discs (e.g., carpal tunnel and rotator cuff syndrome, herniated spinal disc, low back pain, etc.), but do not include disorders caused by slips, trips, falls, motor-vehicle accidents or other similar accidents.

OSHA stated that the proposed rule would simply require employers to check a new MSD box on their OSHA 300 Log, and that employers are already required to report this information on the current form. The business community argued that it could be difficult to determine whether there is a MSD injury, whether it is job-related and how it should be addressed. The proposed rule could have exposed employers to lawsuits and OSHA penalties if they had misdiagnosed a problem or improperly recorded a MSD. OSHA intends to revisit its proposed rule, initially meeting with small-business representatives to discuss how an MSD injury recordkeeping log would impact these companies.

OSHA has now withdrawn two rules in response to an Executive Order issued by President Obama directing all federal agencies to review their regulations and eliminate rules that unnecessarily hinder economic growth. OSHA previously rescinded a proposed rule to require businesses to install soundproofing and make other workplace changes before relying on earplugs to comply with noise standards.

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at