Forget about those October, 2001, compliance dates for informing employees about ergo risks and setting up a system for handling complaints. Forget about whether or not your ergo program is “grandfathered” into compliance. For the 85 percent of U.S. employers estimated by OSHA to have done nothing to address ergonomics, the heat is off.
But safety and health experts contacted by Industrial Safety & Hygiene News say it’s dumb to bury your head in the sand when it comes to ergonomics. “Something has to be done to address ergo injuries. An ergo rule is inevitable,” says Mark Hansen, director of environment, safety and health for Weatherford. Hansen says OSHA’s standard issued last November “can be viewed as a shot across your company’s bow. It was a warning that ergo is coming.”