OSHA's new ergononmic rules, which went into effect on January 16, 2001, cover all U.S. workers not employed in the agriculture, construction, railroad or maritime industries — in other words, 102 million workers in virtually every other line of business, big or small. Full enforcement of these regulations, following a nine-month grace period, begins October 15, 2001.
We would like to thank AAA (Association for Accounting Administrators)for this update to the recent Ergonomics ruling.
An attorney specializing in OSHA matters has advised AAA that employers have no compliance obligations under this standard until October 15, 2001. By this date, employers must provide the information described in paragraph (d) (see insert below) to their employees. After October 15, 2001, employers must respond to employees reports of MSDs and MSD signs and symptoms in accordance with the time frames set forth in Table W-2, 29 CFR 1910.900(x)(2). None of the obligations referred to in Table W-2 take effect before that date. Rather, the purpose of the Table is to set forth the compliance time frames that apply with respect to reports made after October 15, 2001.
Attorneys are advising AAA to remain calm and don't do anything in regards to this ruling. A stay has been requested and litigation has been initiated. The matter will be revisited in the summer months with advice and guidance provided on how to deal with the October 15, 2001 date. Any action at this point will prove to be premature.
If the standard applies to me, what initial action must I take?
1.) You must provide each current and each new employee basic information about:
- Common musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and their signs and symptoms;
- The importance of reporting MSDs and their signs and symptoms early and the consequences of failing to report them early;
- How to report MSDs and their signs and symptoms in your workplace;
- The kinds of risk factors, jobs and work activities associated with MSD hazards; and
- A short description of the requirements of OSHA's ergonomics program standard.
2.) You must make available to the employee a summary of the requirements of this standard.
3.) You must provide the information in written form or, if all employees have access, in electronic form. You must provide the information to new employees within 14 days of hiring. You must post the information in a conspicuous place in the workplace (e.g., employee bulletin board or, if all employees have access, electronic posting).
Note to paragraph (d): You may use the information sheet in non-mandatory Appendix A to this section to comply with paragraphs (d)(1) of this section and the summary sheet in non-mandatory Appendix B to this section to comply with paragraph (d)(2)of this section.
For more detials visit the OSHA Site!