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OSHA Looks at Musculoskeletal Disorder in Work Injury in Boston, elsewhere

OSHA is revising itsOccupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements regulation. The Federal Register recently published a notice of the reopening.
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The Administration is reopening the record in an attempt to call on interested individuals to submit comment on the small business teleconferences that the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy OSHA co-sponsored last month. They’re also asking that individuals submit comment on the issues raised during those teleconferences. OSHA held those teleconferences to collect feedback from small business representatives regarding their experience with recording work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Boston and elsewhere in the United States. They would like to know how these representatives believe they would be directly impacted by the proposed rule. The public was invited to submit comments as well.

Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys understand that musculoskeletal disorders can oftentimes occur in the workplace as they’re caused by spending long periods of time in the same position, poor posture and repetitive movements. These disorders affect the full length of the spine. These conditions cause serious pain, discomfort and sometimes a loss of productivity on the job. They can oftentimes go unreported as well, meaning that employees may not receive the proper treatment or compensation from employers.

Earlier this year, OSHA proposed a revision to its Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements regulation in an attempt to allow employers to check if a work related incident that was previous recorded under the current rules is a musculoskeletal disorder.

This proposed rule does not look to change any of the existing record-keeping requirements regarding when and under what circumstances an employer must record a work-related injury or illness. It would only seek to require that an employer would now mark the musculoskeletal disorder column box on the log if the case that has already been recorded meets the requirements to be classified as a musculoskeletal disorder.

“OSHA is eager to hear from the public on this, and every, proposed rule,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “The more feedback the agency receives from small businesses on this topic, the better informed we will be in crafting a proposed regulation that protects workers without overburdening employers.”

Injuries can be recorded if they meet a number of criteria, including days away from work and medical treatment beyond first aid or restricted work performance. The new rule would help to specifically define a musculoskeletal disorder, for record-keeping purposes only, as a disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage or spinal discs.

More than 1.5 million recordable musculoskeletal disorder incidents are expected to happen annually and the yearly costs of the proposed rule would be more than $1.5 million, according to OSHA.

If you or a loved one is experiencing a musculoskeletal disorder in Boston or any of the surrounding areas and believe your job contributed to the disorder, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your right.