OSHA has just announced that it is extending by 15 days the public comment period for its proposal to add a separate column on the OSHA 300 log for employers to record work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).  Those wishing to comment on the proposed rule must now do so by March 30, 2010.  Four separate stakeholders had requested an extension of the comment period. 

Under the proposed rule, employers would be required to “check the box” in a separate column on the OSHA 300 log – an “MSD” column – for injuries and illnesses that fit within the agency’s definition. For purposes of the proposal, the agency defines MSDs as:

[D]isorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage and spinal discs. MSDs DO NOT include disorders caused by slips, trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents, or other similar accidents. Examples of MSDs include: Carpal tunnel syndrome, Rotator Cuff syndrome, De Quervain’s disease, Trigger finger, Tarsal tunnel syndrome, Sciatica, Epicondylitis, Tendinitis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, Carpet layers knee, Herniated spinal disc, and Low back pain.

OSHA also is proposing to remove existing language from its recordkeeping compliance directive that “minor musculoskeletal discomfort” is not recordable as a restricted work case “if a health care professional determines that the employee is fully able to perform all of his or her routine job functions, and the employer assigns a work restriction for the purpose of preventing a more serious injury.” OSHA is concerned that this language creates confusion among employers about recording MSDs. OSHA’s proposal attempts to clarify that employers must record abnormal conditions resulting in minor musculoskeletal discomfort, regardless of whether the conditions include objective signs of an injury or illness – so long as all of the other criteria for recording are met.

This is an important rulemaking and all stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the rulemaking process.

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Photo of Bradford T. Hammock Bradford T. Hammock

Brad Hammock is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis, practicing exclusively in the safety and health area. He heads Jackson Lewis’ Workplace Safety and Health practice group.

He joined the firm in 2008 after serving for ten years…

Brad Hammock is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis, practicing exclusively in the safety and health area. He heads Jackson Lewis’ Workplace Safety and Health practice group.

He joined the firm in 2008 after serving for ten years as an OSHA attorney within the Department of Labor including, most recently, for more than three years as lead counsel for safety standards. As lead counsel, Mr. Hammock managed attorneys who worked with OSHA on regulatory initiatives, compliance assistance, and enforcement policy. He had direct responsibility for more than 20 major OSHA regulatory initiatives, including rulemakings on personal protective equipment, confined spaces, and crane safety.

Before his promotion to lead counsel, Mr. Hammock worked as a regulatory attorney for OSHA, focusing on ergonomics. He was one of the lead attorneys during the development of the OSHA ergonomics standard in 2000 and had primary responsibility for the Department of Labor’s comprehensive approach to ergonomics in 2002. Mr. Hammock is widely regarded as one of the nation’s most experienced attorneys on ergonomics.

Education

  • University of Virginia/Bachelor of Arts in American Government/1992
  • Syracuse University College of Law/Juris Doctor, magna cum laude/1996

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia