OSHA Delays Recordkeeping Rule Provisions

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will delay for one year the effective date of three provisions of its recordkeeping rule and establish interim criteria for recording cases of work-related hearing loss.

These provisions, postponed until Jan 1, 2003, are: the criteria for recording work-related hearing loss, the rule's definition of “musculoskeletal disorder” (MSD), and the requirement that employers check the MSD column on the OSHA log. All other provisions of the rule take effect Jan 1, 2002.

The final recordkeeping rule is the culmination of an effort that began in the 1980s to improve how the government tracks occupational injuries and illnesses. The rule boosts employee involvement, simplifies forms, and gives employers more flexibility to use computers to meet OSHA regulatory requirements.

OSHA will issue new recordkeeping forms that have been modified to remove the MSD and hearing loss columns from the OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses and the OSHA 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. The instructions accompanying the forms have also been modified to reflect the requirements that will take effect in 2002. Copies of the forms can be obtained on OSHA's web site at www.osha.gov or from the OSHA publications office.

The agency will carry out an outreach effort to help employers and workers understand the changes, while providing assistance in complying with new recordkeeping requirements. To aid in that effort, OSHA launched a new page on its web site that highlights key provisions and changes of the new recordkeeping rule. The page, at www.osha-slc.gov/recordkeeping/index, details training programs and provides materials to aid employers and workers.

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