"This document was published prior to the publication of OSHA's final rule
on Ergonomics Program (29 CFR 1910.900, November 14, 2000), and therefore
does not necessarily address or reflect the provisions set forth in the
News Release USDL: 97-304
Friday, August 29 1997
Contact: Bill Wright (202)219-8151
RESULTS OF OSHA/NIOSH "EFFECTIVE PRACTICES" ERGONOMICS
CONFERENCE NOW AVAILABLE ON INTERNET
When a capacity crowd of industry leaders gathered in Chicago last
January to examine musculoskeletal disorders and repetitive stress
injuries, discussion centered on finding solutions to reduce one of
the nation's most common and costly occupational health problems.
The proceedings from the two-day conference are now available on the
Internet at www.osha.gov.
More than 1,000 people attended the national conference co-sponsored
by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Called
"Ergonomics: Effective Workplace Practices and Programs," the seminar
provided a forum for business, government, labor and academia
representatives to share information about effective workplace
"Ergonomic solutions are not one-size-fits-all remedies," said
Gregory R. Watchman, acting assistant secretary of labor for occupational
safety and health. "By providing a wide array of success stories and
case histories, we hope to offer practical information for employers
and employees alike."
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are now the nation's largest
workplace health problem. Each year, more than 700,000 workers develop
work-related overexertion or repetitive stress injuries or disorders,
such as carpal tunnel syndrome, accounting for more than 60 percent of
all occupational illnesses, and resulting in at least $20 billion
annually in worker's compensation costs.
The conference agenda offered a balanced and wide variety of speakers
to encourage a dialog among those actually in workplaces attempting to
implement successful ergonomic programs. More than 80 speakers made
presentations, including industry officials who manage ergonomics
programs, as well as workers, union leaders, and occupational health
professionals. The presentations contained in the conference proceedings
describe programs and approaches that already have been instituted in a
wide range of U.S. workplaces to protect workers from job-related
Discussions covered such topics as worksite analysis, training,
program evaluation and employee involvement. Several themes cut across all
ergonomics programs are practical and reduce business costs;
most companies follow current OSHA ergonomics management guidelines
for meatpacking plants;
management commitment and employee participation are critical, and
many fixes are simple and inexpensive.
The proceedings of the national conference can be accessed via OSHA's home
page at http://www.osha.gov under "Ergonomics." The proceedings can also
be found on the NIOSH home page at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ecagenda.html.
Further information on job-related musculoskeletal disorders is available
on both web sites. Additional information can be obtained by calling NIOSH
at (800) 356-6474.
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