OSHA announced yesterday it plans to publish a proposed rule on adding column on its 300 log for recording musculoskeletal disorders. The move naturally raised this question: Is this a prelude to a broader ergonomics regulation?

“We are simply putting the MSD column back on the OSHA log as was originally intended in the 2001 issuance of OSHA's recordkeeping standard. MSDs continue to be a major problem for American workers, but at this time, OSHA has no plans for regulatory activity,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

“Musculoskeletal injuries are one of the biggest worker health and safety problem in this country,” said acting OSHA administrator Jordan Barab. “But addressing this problem is also a complicated regulatory and poltical issue which the agency is considering. At this time, OSHA has no plans to pursue ergonomics regulation, although the incoming assistant secretary (Dr. David Michaels) will be addressing this issue as one of his highest priorities.