In a surprise and rare move, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has extended its review of OSHA’s Occupational Injury Recording and Reporting Requirements Rule — Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) Column.  The rule, originally proposed this year, would require employers to “check a box” in a separate column on the OSHA 300 log – an “MSD” column – for injuries and illnesses that fit within the Agency’s proposed definition.  OSHA also proposed 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.” 

OMB received OSHA’s final rule to review on July 14, 2010.  Many stakeholders expected a quick review by OMB of the rule, followed by immediate publication in the Federal Register.  In order for the rule to go into effect on January 1, 2011, OSHA needs to provide the states adequate time to incorporate the new rule into their state plan programs.  Thus, many anticipated publication as early as this summer.

OMB, however, is clearly taking a hard look at OSHA’s rule.  OMB rarely extends its reviews under Executive Order 12866 and this signals that OMB has issues with the rule, or its underlying economic analysis, that it has yet to resolve with OSHA.

We will continue to keep you informed of developments wth the rule and other OSHA recordkeeping initiatives.