Ergonomics: Standards

On July 20, 2001, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited President George W. Bush’s March 20, 2001, statement as follows:  “The safety and health of our Nation’s workforce is a priority for my administration.  Together we will pursue a comprehensive approach to ergonomics that addresses the concerns surrounding the ergonomics rule repealed today.  We will work with the Congress, the business community, and our Nation’s workers to address this important issue.”

It further states, “With these words, President Bush signed a joint resolution of Congress disapproving OSHA’s ergonomics standard, and at the same time, pledging to find a solution to ergonomic-related problems affecting the nation’s workforce.  OSHA’s ergonomics program standard was issued November 14, 2000, and took effect January 16, 2001.  Congress acted under authority of the Congressional Review Act of 1996.  As a result, the standard is no longer in effect, and employers and workers are not bound by its requirements.”

Today, I checked out OSHA’s web site and it makes no mention of the ergonomics standard being repealed.  It may be part of Obama Care; that is just my guess.  In fact, it is now referred to as the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 with amendments through 2004.

Bottom line is any employers should evaluate their workers for musculoskeletal disorders before they are hired so that they are not found to have an unsafe workplace that causes ergonomic injuries.

Further, for existing employees, if a person has any musculoskeletal pain, go to OSHA.gov to report any Work-related Injuries and Illnesses on their on-line Form 300 (Rev.01/2004) to be on the safe side.  Under OSHA’s General Duty clause, employers can be audited for not reporting a Work-related MSD; but as long as the employer reports the MSD (musculoskeletal disorder), they cannot get audited under the General Duty Clause for not reporting said MSD.  Employers can also call 1-800-321-OSHA to report any potential MSD’s that could be Work-related to make sure you are OSHA compliant.

 

Author: Melanie Loomos

I was a court reporter for 10 years then became an inventor. I invented The Buttpillow® and was granted a patent called the "Pillow with Cantilever Supports." At the same time, I also submitted a patent application for "The Carpal Tunnel Chair," which I was advised I did not get. After R&D on The Buttpillow®, I submitted another patent application for the "Ergonomic Seating Cushion" was filed and later amended to include an embodiment for women during pregnancy. The USPTO granted the "Ergonomic Seating Cushion" patent in late 2002. Subsequently, in 2003, I also invented Ergosoft™ break reminder software to remind people to take breaks with an Ergo-Tip™ so people can identify and minimize ergonomic risk factors around them.

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