Where should OSHA go next with its ergonomics program?
I’d like to understand what obligation employers have under OSHA’s general duty clause that protects employees against certain hazards in the workplace, where no other OSHA standard would address the condition.
OSHA imposes obligations on the employer, but these obligations are not limitless. As federal administrations change, requirements change. Let’s start by focusing on ergonomics. A major concern of OSHA throughout the 1990s was worker maladies such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which was ascribed to long hours sitting in workstations and typing on computer keyboards.
An ergonomic process uses the principles of an injury and illness prevention program to address MSD hazards.
1. Workers have the right to a safe workplace.
2. The law requires employers to provide their employees safe and healthy workplaces.
3. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for getting their rights under the law.
4. Workers can complain and have OSHA inspect their workplace if they think that their employer is not acting according to OSHA standards or if there are major hazards.