OSHA’s plan to expand workplace injury reporting has rattled quite a few cages. The prospect of adding a column (yes, a column) to the existing OSHA 300 log has business up in arms. The enhanced report would isolate musculoskeletal disorders (or MSD) injuries.
NOTE – The term MSD is used to describe a category of Ergonomic-related injuries that affect the musculoskeletal system; there is no single diagnosis for MSDs. It is believed that OSHA’s intent with this expansion in reporting is to determine whether there is a pattern of ergonomic-related injuries in certain jobs or work tasks.
Could reporting lead to regulation? Maybe. Regulation would be a stretch right now; Democratic leadership is playing rope-a-dope on so many fronts – healthcare reform to name one – we can’t imagine the Labor Department is anxious to ‘rile up’ business with the introduction of Ergonomic regulation.
Reporting….regulation…WHATEVER. Our ERGOLAB team’s mission is to build a sound business case as to why Ergonomics MUST be a central element in every business’ Safety & Health strategy. Ergonomics should not be a business ‘like to have’; Ergonomics should be a ‘must have’ because it makes good business sense. Shift the discussion from Reporting or Regulation to the RISK of doing nothing AND the Return-on-Investment or ROI of a proactive strategy.
At a client meeting yesterday, our ERGOLAB team was presenting findings from a facility-wide Pain & Discomfort survey. This type of survey is a great starting point for any company looking to baseline their current ‘RISK’ related to Musculoskeletal Disorders or MSDs. Employees are asked to rate, from 1 to 5 (low to high) their level of pain &/or discomfort across 38 areas of the body. In addition, they are also asked to identify what work tasks or activities trigger or amplify their pain. Our deliverables; a map of the quantity and severity of employee pain &/discomfort and insights into the tasks that may be the cause of or contributing to employee injury. This details the existing RISK of pain symptoms across the employee community; Ergonomic and Human Factors research (and common sense) tells us that if no change is made to the current work environment, employee pain will continue to escalate and injury is very possible.
Following is a view of the RISK progression of ‘unaddressed’ employee pain and discomfort over time. Get proactive with your company’s approach to Ergonomics; focus your energies on the ROI of Ergonomics.
As always, we are here to help! Contact us at the ERGOLAB with any questions, or if you’d like to discuss scheduling a Pain and Discomfort survey at your facility. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 401 – 527 – 7047.