LABOR AND INDUSTRIES
Title of Rule: Chapter 296-27 WAC, Recordkeeping and reporting.
Purpose: In July 2003 occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) deleted requirements of the occupational injury and illness recording and reporting requirements rule. The requirement required employers to check the musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) column on the OSHA 300 Log if an employee experienced a work-related musculoskeletal disorder, and stated that MSD's are not considered privacy concern cases. We are proposing to delete this requirement in our record-keeping and reporting rule. This rule proposal will make the WISHA rule and OSHA rule identical.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, 49.17.060.
Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 49.17 RCW.
Summary: See Purpose above.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: See Purpose above.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Tracy Spencer, Tumwater, (360) 902-5530; Implementation and Enforcement: Michael A. Silverstein, Tumwater, (360) 902-5495.
Name of Proponent: Department of Labor and Industries, governmental.
Rule is necessary because of federal law, 29 C.F.R. Part 1904.
Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: See Purpose above.
Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See Purpose above.
The following WAC sections are affected by this rule making:
WAC 296-27-01113 Recording criteria for cases involving occupational hearing loss.
|•||Changed wording to be identical to OSHA.|
|•||Removed effective dates to be identical to OSHA.|
WAC 296-27-061 Non-Mandatory Appendix A -- Age adjustment calculations for comparing audiograms for recording hearing loss.
|•||Added Non-Mandatory Appendix A to be identical to OSHA.|
WAC 296-27-01117 Recording criteria for cases involving work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
|•||Repealed wording to be identical to OSHA.|
THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED UNDER AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THE USE OF THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Carmen Moore, Department of Labor and Industries, P.O. Box 44001, Olympia, WA 98504-4001 , AND RECEIVED BY November 17, 2003, 5:00 p.m.
September 16, 2003
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-22-029, filed 10/28/02, effective 1/1/03)
WAC 296-27-01113 Recording criteria for cases involving occupational hearing loss. (1) Basic requirement. You must record a hearing loss case on the OSHA Log if an employee's hearing test (audiogram) reveals that a recordable threshold shift (RTS) in one or both ears has occurred.
(a) How do I evaluate the current audiogram to determine whether a recordable threshold shift has occurred?
(i) If the employee has never previously experienced a recorded hearing loss, you must compare the employee's current audiogram with that employee's baseline audiogram. If the employee has previously experienced a recorded hearing loss, you must compare the employee's current audiogram with the employee's revised baseline audiogram (the audiogram reflecting the employee's previously recorded hearing loss case.)
(ii) The employee has a recordable threshold shift when:
• There is a change in the hearing threshold, relative to the baseline audiogram for that employee, of an average of 10 decibels (dB) or greater at 2000, 3000, and 4000 hertz (Hz) in one or both ears.
• The employee's overall hearing loss (threshold) is 25
dB or greater (averaged at 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz) in the
same ear as the change.
|Note:||Audiometric test results reflect the employee's overall hearing ability in comparison to audiometric zero.|
(c) Do I have to record the hearing loss if I am going to retest the employee's hearing? No, if you retest the employee's hearing within thirty days of the first test, and the retest does not confirm the RTS, you are not required to record the hearing loss case on the OSHA 300 Log. If the retest confirms the RTS, you must record the hearing loss illness within seven calendar days of the retest. If subsequent audiometric testing indicates that an RTS is not persistent, you may erase or line-out the recorded entry.
(d) Are there any special rules for determining whether a hearing loss case is work-related? No. You must use the rules in WAC 296-27-01103 to determine if the hearing loss is work-related. If an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the hearing loss, or significantly aggravated a preexisting hearing loss, you must consider the case to be work-related.
(e) If a physician or other licensed health care professional determines the hearing loss is not work-related, do I still need to record the case? No. If a physician or other licensed health care professional determines that the hearing loss is not work-related or has not been significantly aggravated by occupational noise exposure, you are not required to consider the case work-related or to record the case on the OSHA 300 Log.
Effective January 1, 2004,)) When you enter a
recordable hearing loss case on the OSHA 300 Log, you must
check the 300 Log column for hearing loss.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, and 49.17.060. 02-22-029, § 296-27-01113, filed 10/28/02, effective 1/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, [49.17].040, and [49.17].050. 02-01-064, § 296-27-01113, filed 12/14/01, effective 1/1/02.]
IMPORTANT: These computations may only be used for comparison of audiograms to record hearing loss on the OSHA 300 Log. This Appendix Is Non-Mandatory.
In determining whether a recordable threshold shift has occurred, allowance may be made for the contribution of aging to the change in hearing level by adjusting the most recent audiogram. If you choose to adjust the audiogram, you must follow the procedure described below. This procedure and the age correction tables were developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the criteria document entitled "Criteria for a Recommended Standard ... Occupational Exposure to Noise," ((HSM)-11001).
For each audiometric test frequency:
(i) Determine from Tables A-1 or A-2 the age correction values for the employee by:
(A) Finding the age at which the most recent audiogram was taken and recording the corresponding values of age corrections at 1000 Hz through 6000 Hz;
(B) Finding the age at which the baseline audiogram was taken and recording the corresponding values of age corrections at 1000 Hz through 6000 Hz.
(ii) Subtract the values found in step (i)(B) from the value found in step (i)(A).
(iii) The differences calculated in step (ii) represent that portion of the change in hearing that may be due to aging.
EXAMPLE: Employee is a 32-year-old male. The audiometric history for his right ear is shown in decibels below.
|Audiometric Test Frequency (Hz)|
(The threshold shift is computed by subtracting the hearing threshold at age 27, which was 5, from the hearing threshold at age 32, which is 25.) A retest audiogram has confirmed this shift. The contribution of aging to this change in hearing may be estimated in the following manner:
Go to Table A-1 and find the age correction values (in dB) for 4000 Hz at age 27 and age 32.
|Audiometric Test Frequency (Hz)|
|20 or younger||5||3||4||5||8|
|60 or older||11||13||23||33||38|
TABLE F-2 - AGE CORRECTION VALUES IN DECIBELS FOR FEMALES
|Audiometric Test Frequency (Hz)|
|20 or younger||7||4||3||3||6|
|60 or older||14||12||16||17||22|
(a) What do I need to do to complete the OSHA 300 Log? You must enter information about your business at the top of the OSHA 300 Log, enter a one or two line description for each recordable injury or illness, and summarize this information on the OSHA 300-A at the end of the year.
(b) What do I need to do to complete the OSHA 301 Incident Report? You must complete an OSHA 301 Incident Report form, or an equivalent form, for each recordable injury or illness entered on the OSHA 300 Log.
(c) How quickly must each injury or illness be recorded? You must enter each recordable injury or illness on the OSHA 300 Log and 301 Incident Report within seven calendar days of receiving information that a recordable injury or illness has occurred.
(d) What is an equivalent form? An equivalent form is one that has the same information, is as readable and understandable, and is completed using the same instructions as the OSHA form it replaces. Many employers use an insurance form instead of the OSHA 301 Incident Report, or supplement an insurance form by adding any additional information listed on the OSHA form.
(e) May I keep my records on a computer? Yes, if the computer can produce equivalent forms when they are needed, as described under WAC 296-27-02111 and 296-27-03103, you may keep your records using the computer system.
(f) Are there situations where I do not put the employee's name on the forms for privacy reasons? Yes, if you have a "privacy concern case," you may not enter the employee's name on the OSHA 300 Log. Instead, enter "privacy case" in the space normally used for the employee's name. This will protect the privacy of the injured or ill employee when another employee, a former employee, or an authorized employee representative is provided access to the OSHA 300 Log under WAC 296-27-02111. You must keep a separate, confidential list of the case numbers and employee names for your privacy concern cases so you can update the cases and provide the information to the government if asked to do so.
(g) How do I determine if an injury or illness is a privacy concern case? You must consider the following injuries or illnesses to be privacy concern cases:
• An injury or illness to an intimate body part or the reproductive system;
• An injury or illness resulting from a sexual assault;
• Mental illnesses;
• HIV infection, hepatitis, or tuberculosis;
• Needlestick injuries and cuts from sharp objects that are contaminated with another person's blood or other potentially infectious material (WAC 296-27-01109 for definitions); and
• Other illnesses((
, effective January 1, 2002,)) if the
employee independently and voluntarily requests that his or
her name not be entered on the log. (( Effective January 1,
2004, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are not considered
privacy concern cases.))
(h) May I classify any other types of injuries and illnesses as privacy concern cases? No, this is a complete list of all injuries and illnesses considered privacy concern cases for the purposes of this section.
(i) If I have removed the employee's name, but still believe that the employee may be identified from the information on the forms, is there anything else that I can do to further protect the employee's privacy? Yes, if you have a reasonable basis to believe that information describing the privacy concern case may be personally identifiable even though the employee's name has been omitted, you may use discretion in describing the injury or illness on both the OSHA 300 and 301 forms. You must enter enough information to identify the cause of the incident and the general severity of the injury or illness, but you do not need to include details of an intimate or private nature. For example, a sexual assault case could be described as "injury from assault," or an injury to a reproductive organ could be described as "lower abdominal injury."
(j) What must I do to protect employee privacy if I wish to provide access to the OSHA Forms 300 and 301 to persons other than government representatives, employees, former employees or authorized representatives? If you decide to voluntarily disclose the forms to persons other than government representatives, employees, former employees or authorized representatives (as required by WAC 296-27-02111 and 296-27-03103), you must remove or hide the employees' names and other personally identifying information, except for the following cases. You may disclose the forms with personally identifying information only:
(i) To an auditor or consultant hired by the employer to evaluate the safety and health program;
(ii) To the extent necessary for processing a claim for workers' compensation or other insurance benefits; or
(iii) To a public health authority or law enforcement agency for uses and disclosures for which consent, an authorization, or opportunity to agree or object is not required under Department of Health and Human Services Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, 45 CFR 164.512.
(3) Falsification, failure to keep records or reports.
(a) RCW 49.17.190(2) of the act provides that "whoever knowingly makes any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plan, or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this chapter shall, upon conviction be guilty of a gross misdemeanor and be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than six months or by both."
(b) Failure to maintain records or file reports required by this chapter, or in the detail required by the forms and instructions issued under this chapter, may result in the issuance of citations and assessment of penalties as provided for in WAC 296-800-35002 through 296-800-35052.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, and 49.17.060. 02-22-029, § 296-27-01119, filed 10/28/02, effective 1/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, [49.17].040, and [49.17].050. 02-01-064, § 296-27-01119, filed 12/14/01, effective 1/1/02.]
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
|WAC 296-27-01117||Recording criteria for cases involving work-related musculoskeletal disorders.|