OSHA Issues General Duty Clause Citations for Ergonomics
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) four-pronged approach to ergonomics announced 18 months ago has resulted in the issuance of 11 citations under the General Duty Clause for failure to effectively implement an ergonomics program. The majority of the recent ergonomics citations have been at nursing homes - the first industry to receive voluntary guidelines.
According to Assistant Secretary Henshaw, OSHA intends to continue targeting facilities for enforcement if they are not exercising and identifying solutions to on-the-job injuries and illnesses if there are solutions available. Henshaw believes that in order for OSHA to be effective, they must execute all four prongs of the ergonomics program - guidelines, outreach and assistance, the advisory committee and enforcement - or it's not going to work.
But for those of us in industry, this is a sensitive and scary proposition. The shipbuilding industry is apparently next on OSHA's list for voluntary guidelines. Can voluntary guidelines for general construction be too far behind? You can rest assured that MCAA is carefully monitoring this issue.
About the Author
Marian J. Marshall was the Director of Government Affairs for the Mason Contractors Association of America.