OSHA Resources on Silica Final Rule

Information from OSHA

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U.S. Department of Labor

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Office of Communications

202-693-1999

Department of Labor, United States of America

New and revised resources available from OSHA on silica final rule

OSHA has released two resources to help small business employers comply with the agency’s final silica rule. The Small Entity Compliance Guide for General Industry and Maritime outlines steps that employers are required to take including: assessing worker exposures; using engineering and work practice controls to keep exposures below a specified safety threshold; offering medical exams to certain highly exposed workers; and training workers. Enforcement of the final rule is scheduled to begin June 23, 2018.

Released earlier in the year, the Small Entity Compliance Guide for Construction describes requirements to protect employees including: using engineering controls specified in the standard or selecting other effective engineering controls to reduce exposures; offering medical exams to workers who will need to wear a respirator under the silica standard for 30 or more days a year; and training workers. The guide was updated to reflect the new enforcement date of Sept. 23, 2017.

You are receiving this email because you signed up for updates on the agency’s silica rule. To unsubscribe, see below.

Per OSHA, Electronic Filing — Requirement Delay to December 1, 2017

Department of Labor, United States of America

News Release


U.S. Department of Labor  |  June 27, 2017

US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes to delay compliance date for electronically submitting injury, illness reports

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today proposed a delay in the electronic reporting compliance date of the rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, from July 1, 2017, to Dec. 1, 2017. The proposed delay will allow OSHA an opportunity to further review and consider the rule.

The agency published the final rule on May 12, 2016, and has determined that a further delay of the compliance date is appropriate for the purpose of additional review into questions of law and policy.  The delay will also allow OSHA to provide employers the same four-month window for submitting data that the original rule would have provided.

OSHA invites the public to comment on the proposed deadline extension. Comments may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for details. The deadline for submitting comments is July 13, 2017.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Amy Louviere, 202-693-9423, louviere.amy@dol.gov
Mandy Kraft, (202) 693-4664, kraft.amanda.c@dol.gov

Release Number:  17-919-NAT

Musculoskeletal Pain = Leading Cause of Early Pensions

Textbook of Pain, 1998, “Prevention of Disability due to Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain,” written by Steven James Linton:

The above-mentioned chapter in the Textbook of Pain, “examines procedures designed for use in health-care settings to prevent disability due to musculoskeletal pain.”

The following statement is made:

“Because musculoskeletal pain is a major source of suffering, health care, and utilization of compensation, there is a definite need for prevention.  However, prevention is not an easy task because disability is related to a developmental process in which multidimensional factors operate over time to produce significant lifestyle changes.  Research on risk factors indicates that although medical and workplace factors are obvious, psychosocial variables are central to the transition from acute to chronic pain.  The early identification of ‘at-risk’ patients is a key to allocating resources and initiating secondary prevention.”

“Unfortunately, we do not yet understand the exact mechanisms that produce musculoskeletal pain.”

ACUTE PAIN

“Acute pain – Pain which is generally defined as pain up to about three weeks is characterized by temporary decreases in activity, reliance on medication, and help-seeking.  It is accompanied by psychological distress; for example, fear, anxiety and worry, in addition to beliefs that pain is controllable through medical and active coping…The patient may have organic findings as well as muscle spasms.

SUBACUTE PAIN

“Subacute pain – Pain which is considered to be between 3 and 12 weeks.  Patients may exhibit altering patterns of increasing and decreasing activity, and withdraw or become reliant on medication.”

PERSISTENT OR CHRONIC PAIN

“Persistent or chronic pain – Pain which is defined as more than 3 months’ duration, activities may have decreased sharply. . .The pain becomes more constant although patients may experience ‘good’ and ‘bad’ periods.”

RECURRENT MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN

“Musculoskeletal pain is usually recurrent in nature.  While most episodes of back pain remit rather quickly and most people return to work within 6 weeks, (Reid, et al., 1997), the majority of sufferers will experience several episodes of pain during the course of a year, (Frymoyer, 1992; Nachemson, 1992; VonKorff, 1994; Linton & Hallden, 1997).”

50 % OF ACUTE BACK PAIN SUFFERERS HAVE PAIN 6 – 12 MONTHS LATER

“More than 50 percent of patients with acute back pain will experience another episode within a year (Nachemson, 1992), and prospective studies indicate that almost half will still have significant problems 6 – 12 months later, (Philips & Grant, 1991; VonKorff, 1994; Linton & Hallden, 1997).”

MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN = LEADING CAUSE OF EARLY PENSIONS

“Firstly, a large number of people suffer from musculoskeletal pain, making it a leading health-care problem even though only a minority develop persistent dysfunction.  Musculoskeletal pain is a leading cause of health-care visits, particularly in primary care,  sick absenteeism, and early pensions, (Frymoyer, 1992; Nachemson, 1992; Skovron, 1992).  However, several studies indicate that over 90 percent of those off work with an acute episode of back pain will return within 3 months, (Waddell, 1996;  Reid, et al., 1997).”

“Secondly, as shown above, musculoskeletal pain is recurrent in nature even though most patients return to work rather quickly after an acute episode.  Although acute sufferers usually feel better and return to work within a few weeks, this does not mean that they have recovered fully or permanently.”

“Thirdly, while up to 85 percent of the population will suffer from musculoskeletal pain, only a small number will account for most of the costs, (Nachemson, 1992; Skovron, 1992; Waddell, 1996).  In general, less than 10 percent of the sufferers may consume up to 75 percent of the resources, (VonKorff, 1994; Reid, et al., 1997).  Thus preventing disability and high-cost cases may result in large economic savings, so that these people constitute a special target for prevention programs.”

MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN IN SWEDEN & THE NETHERLANDS

“Further, most of the money at this time is spent on compensation, while relatively little is spent on treatment, and almost nothing is invested in prevention.  In Sweden, about 85 percent of the total resources for musculoskeletal pain are spent on compensation as compared to 15 percent for all treatments and drugs, a figure which has remained fairly constant over a 15-year period, (Linton, 1998).”

“Similarly, in The Netherlands, a recent study of all costs due to back pain showed that 93 percent involved compensation and only 7 percent involved treatment, (Van Tulder, et al., 1995).”

PREVENTION NEEDS RESOURCES

“Consequently, until prevention is granted more resources, programs need to be relatively cheap; and this suggests incorporating them into existing practice routines.”

ERGONOMIC RISK FACTORS TO PREVENT

“A host of ergonomic factors, for example, lifting, heavy work, twisting, bending, manual handling, and repetitive work have been found to be associated with musculoskeletal pain, (Pope, et al., 1991; Skovron, 1992).”

“A recent review of some 60 studies revealed a relationship between musculoskeletal pain problems and job demands, control, monotonous work, time pressure, and perceived workload, (Bongers, et al., 1993).”

“If the problem does not remit within 2 – 4 weeks, a formal screening procedure is suggested.”

 

 

Driving = Risk factor for Low Back Pain

Occupational Medicine, Vol. 48, No. 3., pp. 153-160, 1998, “Musculoskeletal Problems and Driving in Police Officers,” written by D. E. Gyi and J. M. Porter, Vehicle Ergonomics Group, Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, United Kingdom:

In the above-mentioned study, the Occupational Health Department of a rural police force in the United Kingdom had concerns with relation to driving and its link to musculoskeletal disorders.

“There are now an increasing number of researchers whose work implicates prolonged exposure to car driving as a risk factor for low back pain.  However, such epidemiological studies examining the relationship between car driving and back pain or other musculoskeletal troubles are difficult to conduct.  Driving as a task involves prolonged sitting, a fixed posture, and vibration, any of which could directly lead to musculoskeletal trouble.  It is likely that symptoms arise from multiple relationships and influences, (Rey, P., 1979).”

“These police drivers are also deemed to be at particular risk because of the following:

  • They are generally tall males and wear bulky clothing such that seat adjustment may be insufficient to obtain a good posture.
  • They drive fleet cars where the seat and suspension are exposed to excessive wear and tear.
  • They often have to drive in rapid response situations such that they are exposed to fast acceleration and deceleration.
  • Driving is often followed by strenuous physical activity such as lifting and running.
  • They spend most of their eight-hour shift driving or sitting in their vehicle.
  • They often have to take back-seat passengers, such that tall males are unable to take advantage of any seat adjustments that do exist.”

“In a survey of 2,000 U.S. police officers, the number and types of health disorders reported b these officers over a 6-month period were similar to those found in the general public over a 12 month period, (Hurrel, J., 1984).”

The results of the above-mentioned study agree with the findings of other studies that indicate driving a car is a risk factor for the development of low back pain.

Oh noooo, It’s OSHA

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

The Code of Federal Regulations is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive Departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles, which are divided into chapters, which are further divided into parts covering specific regulatory areas.

The general and permanent rules of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) are published under Title 29 of the Code. Those regulations specifically relating to the Recording and Reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses are found under Part 1904, Section .12, .29, .31, .32, . 33, .35, .36, .40, .41 and .42. These sections of Part 1904 are summarized for your convenience and are intended to assist you and your company in property satisfying OSHA’s strict recording and reporting criteria of these particular sections of 29 CFR 1904.

29 CFR 1904.12

Section .12 relates to the recording criteria for cases involving a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (“MSD”). An employer is required to record any MSD in the OSHA 300 Log under the MSD column.

A recordable MSD can be a disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, or spinal discs that have not been caused by slips, trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents or similar type accidents.

Examples of work-related MSD’s include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome, DeQuervain’s disease, trigger finger, tarsal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, epicondylitis, tendonitis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, carpet layer’s knee, herniated spinal disc, and low back pain.

The above provisions take effect on January 1, 2003. For work-related MSD’s that occurred prior to this date, see recording requirements applicable for any injury or illness under Section 1904.5, Section 1904.6, Section 1904.7 and Section 1904.29.

29 CFR 1904.29

This Section stresses the fact that you must use OSHA Forms 300, 300-A, and 301 or their equivalent, whenever a recordable injury or illness is involved. Form 300 is the Log recording work-related injuries and illnesses. Form 300-A is a Summary of work-related injuries and illness reported on Form 300 and Form 301 is the Injury and Illness Incident Report.

Each recordable injury or illness must be entered on OSHA Forms 300 and 301 within seven calendar days following receipt of information that a recordable injury or illness has occurred.

You must complete a Form 301 Incident Report, or an equivalent form for each recordable injury or illness entered on Form 300.

Note: An equivalent form must be one that records the same information as OSHA Forms 300 and 301, is as readable and understandable, and follows the same instructions, as do the OSHA forms that they replace.

You are allowed to keep records in a computer if the computer is able to produce forms equivalent to the OSHA forms when they are needed. For further information see Section 1904.35 and Section 1904.40.

If a “privacy concern case” is involved you may not enter the employee’s name on Form 300; instead, enter “privacy case” in the space normally used for the employee’s name. However, a separate, convidential list of the case numbers and the employee’s names must be maintained so that these cases can be updated and information concerning them provided to the government upon request. Note, however, MSD’s are not considered to be “privacy concern cases.”

The complete list of injuries and illnesses considered to be “private concern cases” for Section 1904 purposes includes (a) an injury or illness involving an intimate body part or the reproductive system, (b) a mental illness, (c) and HIV infection, Hepatitis, or tuberculosis or (d) needle-stick injuries and cuts from sharp objects that are contaminated with other person’s blood or other potentially infectious material.

29 CFR 1904.31

You must record on Form 300 the work-related illnesses and injuries of employees on your payroll, regardless of whether they are laborers, executives, or paid hourly or are salaried, part time, seasonal or migrant workers. You must also record the work-related injuries of employees not on your payroll if you supervise them on a day-to-day basis. This group of employees includes workers obtained from a temporary employment service or supplied by a contractor who are supervised by you or your staff on a daily basis rather than by the company or service providing you with the employees.

29 CFR 1904.32

At the end of the calendar year, you are required to –
• Review the entries made on Form 300 for completeness and accuracy and, when required, correct any apparent deficiencies.
• Prepare and certify an annual summary of all injuries and illnesses recorded on Form 300. A copy of the annual summary must be conspicuously posted in each establishment in a place or places where notices intended for employees are customarily posted. Once posted, you must insure that the annual summary is neither altered, defaced nor covered by other material. Posting must occur no later than February 1 of the year following the year covered by the Form 300 and remain posted until April 30.
• The company official who certifies the accuracy of the annual summary must state that he or she has examined Form 300 and that he or she believes the information recorded therein is correct and complete to the best of his or her knowledge.
• The company executive so certifying must be an officer of the company or corporation, the highest-ranking company official at the establishment, or a designated supervisor at the establishment.

29 CFR 1904.33

Form 300 (the log), the privacy case list (if one exists), the Annual Summary and Form 301 must be retained for five years following the calendar year covered by these forms.

29 CFR 1904.35

This section requires you to involve your employees and their representatives in the record-keeping system in the following way:
• By instructing each employee how he or she is to report a work-related injury or illness.
• By providing employees and their representatives with the company’s injury and illness record by setting up a system that allows employees to promptly report work-related injuries and illnesses.
• By informing each employee how he or she is to implement this system for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.
• Any employee, former employee or personal representative requesting a copy of Form 301 (Incident Report) describing an injury or illness to that employee or former employee must honor this request no later than the end of the next business day.
29 CFR 1904.36

This section prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee who has reported a work-related fatality, injury or illness. It also protects an employee who files a safety and health complaint. This protection also applies to an employee who files a safety and health complaint, asks for access to its Part 1904 records, or otherwise exercises any other rights afforded by OSHA.
29 CFR 1904.40

This section requires the company or the corporation to provide authorized government representatives with copies of records required by Part 1904 within four business hours following their request. Those government representatives authorized to receive these records are representatives of the Secretary of Labor conducting an investigation under the Act, a representative of the Secretary of Health and Human Services conducting an investigation under section 20(b) of the Act, or a representative of a state agency responsible for administering a State plan approved under Section 18 of the Act.

29 CFR 1904.41

This section requires any employer receiving OSHA’s annual survey form to complete it and send it to either OSHA or a designee of OSHA. This report requires the employer to provide the following information:
• Number of employees,
• Hours worked by each employee and
• Requested information recorded on forms required by Part 1904.

29 CFR 1904.42

Any employer receiving a Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illness Form from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), or a BLS designee, must promptly complete the form and return it to sender following the instructions contained on the survey form.
If you desire more information concerning the above sections please log on to http://www.osha.gov.

– – written by John Loomos, Esq. in 2002

Too Much Press Made Me A Target / I Am Back & Looking for a Manufacturer

The “featured image” is me with me with Anka in the background when we were on Deco Drive.  They wanted to interview her anyway because she had just been in Playboy.

When I got my second patent, the Ergonomic Seating Cushion, which I called the Buttpillow, the name was so shocking that I ended up on TV and the cover of the Miami Herald Business Section, and several other newspapers.

Scan

The reason I invented the Pillow with Cantilever Supports (also called the Buttpillow) and the Ergonomic Seating Cushion (an improvement on the Pillow with Cantilever Supports) was so that anyone with a sitting-related problem —  whether the individual was suffering with hemorrhoids, low back pain, sciatica, herniated spinal disc, prostatitis, pressure sores, vaginal pain or tailbone pain  — could use the cushion without everyone knowing what it was being used for.  If you bring a doughnut pillow to work, people will make fun of you. . .at least that is what happened to me.

It is also for reduction of risk factors that lead to musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs as well as DVTs.

Scan 2

I found out seven years later that I had gotten several patents my lawyers told me I didn’t get when I received notices from the USPTO that it was time to pay my maintenance fees on the patents I didn’t know I had gotten; or, even worse, that I had lost my patent because I didn’t pay the maintenance fee when I didn’t know I had it in the first place.

I guess the lawyers had to prove they were right:   When I first started trying to patent products, they would say things to me like, “You are just a stupid court reporter; you are not going to be successful.”

I am seeking an open cell foam manufacturer in the United States.  I have until 2023 on this one patent and it has been quoted a lot lately by other inventors to the USPTO, so it is kind of now or the lawyers will be right. . .I will never be successful.

Anka in Inventor’s Digest for Buttpillow (my name is misspelled. . .it should be Loomos):

Scan

 

 

STOP THE PAIN

So what exactly are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) also known as cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) also known as repetitive motion disorders (RMDs), also known as overuse syndromes, or repetitive strain injuries?

Scan

According to PEOSH (1997), “These painful and sometimes crippling disorders develop gradually over periods of weeks, months, or years.

“They include the following disorders which may be seen in office workers:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – a compression of the median nerve in the wrist that may be caused by swelling and irritation of tendons and tendon sheaths.

Tendinitis – An inflammation (swelling) or irritation of a tendon. It develops when the tendon is repeatedly tensed from overuse or unaccustomed use of the hand, wrist, arm, or shoulder.

Tenosynovitis – An inflammation (swelling) or irritation of a tendon sheath associated with extreme flexion and extension of the wrist.

Low Back Disorders – These include pulled or strained muscles, ligaments, tendons, or ruptured disks. They may be caused by cumulative effects of faulty body mechanics, poor posture, and/or improper lifting techniques.

Synovitis – An inflammation (swelling) or irritation of a synovial lining (joint lining).

“DeQuervain’s Disease – A type of synovitis that involves the base of the thumb.

Bursitis – An inflammation (swelling) or irritation of the connective tissue surrounding a joint, usually of the shoulder.

Epicondylitis – Elbow pain associated with extreme rotation of the forearm and bending of the wrist. The condition is also called tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – a compression of nerves and blood vessels between the first rib, clavicle (collar bone), and accompanying muscles as they leave the thorax (chest) and enter the shoulder.”

Cervical Radiculopathy – A compression of the nerve roots in the neck.

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment – A compression of the ulnar nerve in the wrist.”

PEOSH (1997) further states: “These disorders can also be aggravated by medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, multiple myeloma, thyroid disorders, amyloid disease and pregnancy.”

NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY

Prevention is Better than Treatment 

Scan 8Now that most people spend a lot of their time doing repetitive motions, such as Gaming, Facebooking,  Twittering, using social media and all other types of interactions with computers,  musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, can happen outside the workplace.

You do not want to end up in pain for the rest of your life, so remember to take a break at least every hour from typing activities.

If you must spend your day sitting, as some people do, such as stenographers, remember to stand up at least once every hour.  While sitting, try to maintain your lumbar curve.  In other words, don’t slouch.

Scan 9
Twin stenographers sitting on Buttpillows, Patented Ergonomic Seating Cushions.

Sitting and the Prostate

Standing frequently throughout the day is especially important for men.  There is new research that links prolonged sitting to swelling of the prostate or prostatitis, and there is also research that links prostatitis to prostate cancer.  Prostatitis can affect the sexual health of men usually beginning at about the age of 50; so all you men out there, stand up at least once every hour.

 

A Theme I love!!!

I finally found a theme I love as recommended by Word Press!!!  Be on the look out for  Ergo-Tips TM soon.

I noticed more discussion about ergonomics since March 2017 than I have seen since 2002 .  Ergonomics was a hot topic in 1997, then again in 2000 when it became a Federal Regulation to have an ergonomic work station for every employee,  then again when OSHA’s Ergonomic Standard was repealed in March 2001 by President Bush.

Ergonomics is important now so that you do not become disabled when you get older.  For employees, don’t hesitate to talk to your employer about your ergonomic positioning or your work station.

For employers, even though President Bush repealed OSHA’s ergonomic standard, OSHA was auditing and fining companies under the General Duty Clause for not reporting MSD’s since at least 1997; it may have been prior to 1997.  Several companies quit manufacturing products in the United States at that time due to the fines incurred by non-reporting of MSD’s.

Remember to report any suspected musculoskeletal disorders to OSHA by filling out OSHA’s Form 300A on-line as it is the law under the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act.  If you fail to report a MSD, you still can be audited and fined by OSHA.

 

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.