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Questions and answers from Ergonomics Webcast

December 20, 2000
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Here are some questions and answers from the recent Ergonomics Webcast sponsored by Coastal Training Technologies Corp. and Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN) on November 30, 2000.

If you missed the Ergonomics webcast featuring a roundtable discussion with Ergonomics experts Shari Gibson, Paul Adams and William K. Principe, you can purchase a copy of it via Coastal's web site at http://www.coastal.com/coastalACB/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Product_ID=9319&CATID=17

Q. When is the deadline for compliance with the grandfather clause?

A. It was November 14.

Q. What is meant by providing a summary of the standard to employees? Is a posting of the summary sufficient or does each employee need to receive a copy?

A. Yes, a posting is sufficient.

Q. What employees require training and when?

A. All employees will need to be trained by the date specified for compliance.

Q Is it common to see an increase in employee reporting of ergonomic illnesses occur after initial program implementation?

A. Yes, it is, but most companies find that after a year, the numbers will dramatically decrease.

Q. What if an employee has an exposure from a non-work related source i.e. needlepoint, Nintendo, Internet use which in some cases contribute as much or more than the work related source, does the standard consider that exposure?

A. The standard itself only covers work-related injuries.

Q. Does Ergonomic training have to take place upon hire? Would it have to be handled in a similar fashion to Hazard Communication?

A. Ergonomics training must be handled 14 days after hiring the employee.

Q. Why was construction exempted?

A. OSHA is working on a separate standard for Construction. We recommend that you go to www.osha.gov and read the full Preamble.

Q. Where are the screening levels defined?

A. Check the appendix of the regulation. A copy can be printed out at www.osha.gov

Q. Isn't walking a part of normal life activities?

A. There's a definition in the standard that could include walking as a hazard.

Q. For states with their own OSHA (such as MIOSHA), are the states expected to adopt the standards in their entirety? What modifications can the state possibly make? Does the OSHA standard supercede the state's modifications?

A. After the federal regulation is passed, the state organization has 6 months to either adopt or alter the regulation.

Q. For states with their own OSHA (such as MIOSHA), are the states expected to adopt the standards in their entirety? Or what modifications can the state possibly make? Does the OSHA standard supercede the state's modifications?

A. After the federal regulation is passed, the state organization has 6 months to decide to adopt or alter the regulation.

Q. Is the oil and gas exploration and production industry included in this standard and, if so, does it include offshore workers on drilling rigs and production platforms.

A. The preamble to the regulation covers specifically the industries included. A copy of the regulation can be printed from: http://www.osha.gov.

Q. Are you allowed to use short-term disability payments and worker's compensation in making the 90% payment to an employee due to MSD or another work-related injury?

A. Yes, the standard allows for short-term disability payments and worker's compensation to offset against the required payments to employees.

Q. We have 18 sites, can the training be done over the net or similar to the bloodborne pathogens standard, where a trainer has to be present to answer questions?

A. Yes training can be done over the net as long as employees can ask questions and get a timely response.

Q. Who determines a work related MSD incident?

A. The employer has the ultimate right to decide whether or not the injury is work-related.

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