Last Fall the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released final regulations addressing “musculoskeletal disorders” (MSDs) in the workplace. MSDs include carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries that are experienced by some employees who spend hours each day using a computer keyboard. The OSHA regulations required employers to determine if an employee’s injuries were MSDs, and if so, to implement a comprehensive “ergonomic” program for all employees to reduce as much as possible the risk of such injuries. The regulations contained a two-page checklist to assist employers in deciding if an employee’s injuries were an MSD triggering the need to immediately implement a full-blown ergonomics program. The regulations, which were issued in the final days of the Clinton administration, went into effect on January 16, 2001. They were repealed by Congress in March of this year. Congress also prohibited OSHA from issuing similar regulations in the future.
This content originally appeared in Church Treasurer Alert, June 2001.