Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Michigan: Regulators move 1 step closer to adopting state ergonomics standard

Another day, a little bit closer ...

"Health and safety regulators moved one step closer to adopting rules that would require employers in Michigan to take steps to address work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

The state's General Industry Safety Standards Commission and the Occupational Health Standards Commission voted unanimously to approve the regulations, which would make Michigan and California the only states with an ergonomics standard. Lawmakers derailed efforts in 2006 when they passed legislation to prevent the state from adopting ergonomics regulations.

According to the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, the rules would apply to all general industry employers whose employees are exposed to ergonomic hazards. The standard would not apply to the construction, agriculture, mining, and domestic employment industries.

The Michigan draft guidelines address:

· Training. Under the standard, all employees would be required to receive ergonomics training to address risk factors for work-related MSDs, symptoms of ergonomic-related injuries, and reporting procedures.

· Risk assessment and elimination. The proposal would require employers to assess MSD risk factors and involve employees in the process. In addition, employers would be required to eliminate, reduce or control hazards where economically and technically feasible.

· Compliance. Businesses that have an ergonomics program would be in compliance with the standard's training and assessment/elimination requirements.

Before the standard could be adopted, officials said the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration would be required to hold public forums."    (Continued via Risk & Insurance Online)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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