OSHA extends comment deadline on MSD rule

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) briefly reopened the comment period on the proposed rule to record work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The comments came from May 17 to June 16, about a month after two teleconferences focused on concerns of small businesses.

"The more feedback the agency receives from small businesses on this topic, the better informed we will be in crafting a proposed regulation that protects workers without overburdening employers," OSHA administrator David H. Michaels, MD, MPH, said in a statement.

According to an OSHA summary of the teleconferences, some employers expressed concern that employees would report MSDs that were not work-related and that MSDs might be over-reported as work-related even by physicians.

For the purposes of the proposed recordkeeping, OSHA defines an MSD as "a disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage or spinal discs that was not caused by a slip, trip, fall, motor vehicle accident or similar accident."

The proposed rule would require employers to check a box on the OSHA 300 log indicating that a work-related MSD occurred.