2011 state safety report cards, Ontario MSD crackdown, EPA mercury rules and more on EHS This Week

Check out the most recent podcast of EHS This Week.

This week, Kristy Sadler and I discuss top stories from the world of environment, health and safety news, including: 

  • The Work Loss Data Institute’s 2011 State Report Cards on safety performance. See a map with each state’s grade here.
  • The Province of Ontario’s plan to crack down on musculoskeletal disorders.
  • New EPA rules on mercury, and more.

Check back on a weekly basis for our rundown of the week’s top EHS Stories. 

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The Top 5 upcoming OHS regulatory events you need to know about: #4

It can be hard for businesses to determine which regulatory events will directly affect how they do business. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the Top 5 OHS regulatory events on the immediate horizon business leaders as well as OHS managers and staff need to know about.

Yesterday we talked about a forthcoming crystalline silica rule. Here’s the next issue in our Top 5:

4. Proposed rule to add MSD to OSHA injury reporting forms:

While OSHA has been back and forth on whether it will re-introduce a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) column on Form 300 (and 300A) logs, which hundreds of thousands of organizations across the U.S. are required to complete, the issue is front and centre once again.

If this rule goes ahead, businesses will be required to record employee MSDs on monthly and yearly Form 300 logs.

After complaints from many stakeholders, OSHA had …

OSHA reopens MSD column debate for public comment

Here one minute, gone the next. Now it’s back again. The controversial musculoskeletal disorder (MSDs) column is once again on the table as the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) considers making it a mandatory component of OSHA 300 logs.

If the MSD column is restored, businesses would be required to record details on all work-related MSDs, injuries that tend to develop over time and affect joints, tendons, ligaments, nerves and muscles.

The MSD column used to be a mainstay of the OSHA 300 log, until it was removed in 2003 (though then-OSHA head John Henshaw maintained employers still needed to lump MSDs in with the “injury” or “all other illness” categories). The administration signaled earlier this year it would restore the column to the log, before withdrawing it and indicating it would reach out to small businesses first.

Well, that time is now. Beginning today, OSHA is reopening the … Read more...

OSHA offers teleconferences to small business on proposed changes to 300 Log

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is looking for your feedback on plans to alter the 300 Log, a form containing details on workplace injuries and illnesses that must be completed by most U.S. businesses on a regular basis.

OSHA wants to restore a column to the log that would require employers to enter details on work-related muscoskeletal disorders (MSD).

Some opponents of the proposal to restore the column have complained that it is actually an attempt to revive an ergonomics standard that was repealed a decade ago. Before then, OSHA’s injury and illness log contained one column that lumped MSDs together with hearing. OSHA had planned on separating the two into separate columns, but the MSD column was removed altogether by 2003. Opponents also claim the new column might place an unnecessary burden on small businesses.

OSHA head Dr. David Michaels has insisted most small businesses won’t need … Read more...