California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 5110.  Repetitive Motion Injuries

Summary Of CAL/OSHA Regulations

On July 3, 1997 a California law went into effect, which applies to any business having ten or more employees.  If more than one employee has sustained a repetitive strain injury (RMI) the employer is required to provide a written program designed to minimize injuries.

This program must include:

-Worksite Evaluation

-Control of Conditions causing Repetitive Strain Injuries

-Ergonomic Training of Employees

5110. Repetitive Motion Injuries

a)    Scope and application.  This section shall apply to a job, process, operation where a repetitive motion injury (RMI) has occurred to more than one employee under the following conditions:

1)    Work related causation.  The repetitive motion injuries (RMIs) were predominantly caused (i.e. 50% or more) by a repetitive job, process, or operation.

2)    Relationship between RMIs at the workplace.  The employees incurring the RMIs were performing a job process, or operation of identical work activity.  Identical work activity means that the employees were performing the same repetitive motion task, such as but not limited to word processing, assembly or, loading;

3)    Medical requirements.  The RMIs were musculoskeletal injuries that a licensed physician objectively identified and diagnosed; and

4)    Time requirements.  The RMIs were reported by the employees to the employer in the last 12 months but not before July 3, 1997.

Exemption:  Employers with 9 or fewer employees.

b)    Program designed to minimize RMIs.  Every employer subject to this section shall establish and implement a program designed to minimize RMIs.  The program shall include a worksite evaluation, control of exposures which have caused RMIs and training of employees.

1)    Worksite evalutation.  Each job, process, or operation of identical work activity covered by this section or a representative number of such jobs, processes, or operations of identical work activities shall be evaluated for exposures which have caused RMIs.

2)    Control of exposures which have caused RMIs.  Any exposures that have caused RMIs shall, in a timely manner, be corrected or if not capable of being corrected have the exposures minimized to the extent feasible.  The employer shall consider engineering controls, such as work station redesign, adjustable fixtures or tool redesign, and administrative controls, such as job rotation, work pacing or work breaks.

3)    Training.  Employees shall be provided training that includes an explanation of:

A)    The employer’s program

B)    The exposures which have been associated with RMIs;

C)   The symptoms and consequences of injuries caused by repetitive motion;

D)   The importance of reporting symptoms and injuries to the employer; and

E)    Methods used by the employer to minimize RMIs.


c)     Satisfaction of an employer’s obligation.  Measures implemented by an employer under subsection (b)(1), (b)(2), or (b)(3) shall satisfy the employer’s obligations under that respective subsection, unless it is shown that a measure known to, but not taken by, the employer is substantially certain to cause greater reduction in such injuries and that this alternative measure would not impose additional unreasonable costs.

Note:  Authority cited:  Sections 142.3 and 6357. Labor Code. Reference: Sections 142.3 and 6357.  Pulaski v. Occupational Safety & Health Stds. Bd. (1999) 75 Cal Cal. App. 4th 1315 [90 Cal. Rptr. 2d 54]