OSHA Drops MSD Column, Definition of MSD and MSD Privacy Case Exclusion

Date: Jul 01, 2003

On June 30, 2003, OSHA announced that it was revoking the special OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping requirements for MSDs that were adopted by the Clinton Administration in January 2001, suspended for admin review by the Bush Administration for the last two years, and never went into effect. This means, subject to any judicial challenge, OSHA has revoked the single, official definition of the term "MSD," that the OSHA 300 will not have an MSD column, and that MSDs will not automatically be excluded from the category of privacy concern cases.

In taking this action, OSHA explained that there is no single useful definition of the term MSD, and that the additional data provided by an MSD column would not assist in evaluating or addressing "ergonomic hazards" at individual worksites or at the national level, or in enforcing the General Duty Clause.

However, in stating that "the MSD column would not assist with the kind of detailed analysis necessary to effectively abate MSDs at the establishment level," OSHA certainly indicated its support for the view that some of these conditions are work-related conditions that can be prevented by workplace interventions.

Click here for final rule.