A Guide for Employers for Minnesota Statute 182.676: Everything You Need to Know

Learn about Minnesota Statute 182.676 and how it impacts employers. This comprehensive guide provides an overview of the statute and is chock full of resources and practical tips for employers. This guide will not only ensure compliance but help you to create an ergonomics program that is sustainable.

Understanding Minnesota Statute 182.676: An Introduction

Minnesota Statute 182.676 is a new piece of legislation for employers in Minnesota in certain industries. If your company is a meatpacking, health care facilities, and warehouses of over 100 employees, you may be affected by this new legislation which is effective on January 1, 2024. It aims to promote workplace safety and prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) through the implementation of a written ergonomics program. This introduction provides an overview of the statute and its significance for employers in the state.

The statute requires employers to establish and maintain a written ergonomics program to assess, address, and monitor ergonomic hazards in the workplace. This program is part of Minnesota OSHA and compliance officers may be at your facility at any time after January 1, 2024 to review your ergonomics program. By doing so, employers can reduce the risk of MSDs and create a safer work environment for their employees.

ErgoWorks is committed to helping Minnesota employers navigate compliance with the new statute and customizing to what your company needs. From writing your ergonomics program procedure, performing ergonomic assessments, or leading ergonomic training sessions, we are your trusted guide! Instead of fearing when an MN OSHA Compliance Officer knocks at your door, wouldn't it be great to show off your stellar program?

Affected Employers: Ensuring Compliance

Employers need to ensure that their ergonomics program not only meets the requirements of the statute but also aligns with national Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. 

Not sure if your company is affected by the statute? The industries affected are listed here by NAICS codes:

  • Health Care Facilities:

    • A hospital with the NAICS codes 622110, 622210, or 622310.

    • An Outpatient surgical center with the NAICS codes of 621493.

    • A Nursing home with the NAICS codes of 623110.

  • Warehouse Distribution Center with 100 or more employees in Minnesota AND a NAICS code of 493110, 423110 to 423990, 424110 to 424990, 454110 or 492110.

  • Meatpacking site or poultry processing site with 100 or more employees in Minnesota AND a NAICS code of 311611 to 311615, except 311613.

Non-compliance with Minnesota Statute 182.676 can have serious implications for employers. Failure to establish an ergonomics program or address ergonomic hazards can lead to an increased risk of work-related MSDs, employee injuries, and potential legal consequences.

Ergonomics Program: The Key Requirements

To ensure compliance with Minnesota Statute 182.676, employers must meet certain key requirements including:

- The established safety committee is directly involved in conducting ergonomic assessments to identify and reduce MSD risk factors.

- A procedure to ensure early reporting of MSDs to prevent or reduce symptoms, injuries, and work comp claims.

- A process for employees to provide solutions to reduce, control, or eliminate hazards.

- A procedure that ensures plant modifications and major construction projects are consistent with program goals.

- Provide ongoing training to employees on ergonomics and the importance of early reporting of MSDs.

- Evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the ergonomics program on an ongoing and annual basis.

- Reference the ergonomics program in your company's A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) program as required by Minnesota Statute 182.653, subd 8.

- Recordkeeping of all MSDs for 5 years (Not the OSHA 300 log, as that records only injuries).

Employee Training and Involvement Requirements

Employee involvement in the ergonomics program must be well documented for various phases of the ergonomic program, from initial training in ergonomics basics, solicitation of feedback, gathering employee ideas for solutions, and providing additional opportunities to get involved.

All employees must be trained on the following:

  • The name of each employee on the safety committee.

  • The company's written ergonomics program.

  • The early signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal injuries and the procedures for early reporting.

  • The procedures for reporting injuries and other hazards.

  • Administrative or engineering controls related to ergonomic hazards that will be implemented in their positions.

  • The requirements of Minnesota Statute 182.677, subd. 9.

The employer must maintain records on all ergonomics program training sessions. The provider of the training sessions must include a written certification that the training meets the requirements of the statute along with a brief summary of the information that was included in the training session. All employees that attend each training session must date and sign an attendance form and list their job title.

Minnesota OSHA has provided a 53-page slide deck for employee training that your company can use to customize for your program, and you can download it here.

Additionally, your employees must be able to provide feedback regarding the program through the safety committee. Your company may also need to consider current employee training on relevent ergonomic topics such as proper lifting techniques, posture, and workstation setup. 

Resources for Creating an Ergonomics Program: Where to Start

Creating an effective ergonomics program that meets both Minnesota Statute 182.676 and national OSHA standards requires careful planning. ErgoWorks has compiled a list of Minnesota OSHA approved resources for you to consider as you build your program. 

1. How to write a written program: NIOSH Primer on Building an Ergonomics proram

2. How to identify ergonomic hazards: 

  • Federal OSHA Ergonomics website has tons of information, FAQs, and Resources

  • Washington State basic ergonomic evaluation tools

3. Considering ergonomic solutions can be the hardest part. Here are some resources for solutions, delineated by each affected Industry:

4. Record keeping of MSDs requires you to create a culture of early reporting of symptoms such as soreness and discomfort, and create a record of these reports. Minnseota OSHA does not provide a form for this, so you will need to create a spreadsheet to intake these reports. The statute requires keeping this record for 5 years. 

5. A system for ongoing evaluation and monitoring of the ergonomics program to ensure its effectiveness and make necessary adjustments. Again, how you choose to implement this is up to you. You can use data from ergonomic assessments before and after improvements were completed, reduction in MSDs for a certain work area, or employee surveys regarding workflow changes.

By following these steps, employers can create an ergonomics program that not only meets the requirements of Minnesota Statute 182.676 but also aligns with national OSHA standards, ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for their employees.

Ergonomics Safety Grants Available

Minnesota has approved $2 million in safety grants to fund ergonomic improvements. The Ergonomic Safety Grant Program provides matching funds up to $10,000 for qualifying employers to make ergonomic improvements as recommended by an onsite survey. The full list of qualifying conditions can be located on MN OSHA website, and you can apply online.

Ergonomics Program Implementation Tips

Whew! If you are still reading this, CONGRATULATIONS!

You may be wondering how to put all of this together into a program that functions every day at your company. Implementing an ergonomics program can be daunting and challenging, but with the right approach, employers can achieve success. Luckily, ErgoWorks is here to help! Here are some tips to consider:

1. Lean on established consultants in the industry for guidance and support. The ErgoWorks team are highly trained Occupational and Physical Therapists certified in ergonomics, so ergonomic assessments are our jam! We also have a variety of ergonomic training modules that fit the statute. Because we work with companies and employees every day with the goal of reducing MSDs and utilize early reporting of symptoms, we have up-to-the-minute record keeping data on hand for our clients at any time. For a demo on how to plug into easy solutions, book a meeting with Beth.

2. Recruit employees in the process by seeking their input and feedback. They can provide valuable insights and help identify ergonomic hazards specific to their tasks. This also shows your commitment to making safety a top priority by reducing the ergonomic hazards that employees experience in their job. Start with a comfort survey to gauge how employees feel when they are working.

3. Provide regular training and reminders to reinforce proper ergonomic practices and ensure employees understand the importance of following them. This is not just a program requirement; it is best practice! Remember, this statute is aimed at reducing MSDs, which lowers your costs. So ongoing regular training for employees makes good sense and saves your valuable dollars.

4. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the ergonomics program and make necessary adjustments based on feedback and data. Let the data tell the story! By using ergonomic standardized tools, you can objectively show the benefit of your improvements, either due to a new tool, equipment, or work process. 

By understanding these requirements, employers can build the ergonomics program to comply with the statute, and also gain the trust of employees as they increased their knowledge regarding ergonomic risks in the workplace.

About the author

Beth Mayotte

As the owner of ErgoWorks, I have the treasured opportunity to work with companies to provide onsite injury prevention and ergonomics. I am a licensed Occupational Therapist and certified in Industrial Ergonomics. With experience in work conditioning, Functional Capacity Evaluations, return to work programming, post offer testing, and job analysis, I can help employers determine the best use of their time and money to decrease costs in health care utilization and work comp costs. As a Minnesota company that specializes in this industry, ErgoWorks has garnered the recognition and respect of the Twin Cities to prevent injuries for our clients.