News Release USDL: 96-377
Wednesday, September 11, 1996
Contact: Lola DeGroff (OSHA)(202) 219-8151
Fred Blosser (NIOSH) (202) 260-8519
Conference To Address Effective Practices For
Confronting $20 Billion Problem
Effective workplace practices that reduce ergonomic
illnesses and injuries will be discussed at a conference
in Chicago this January.
These illnesses and injuries are the nation's most
common and costly occupational health problem, affecting
hundreds of thousands of American workers and costing
more than $20 billion a year in workers' compensation.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA)and the National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH) are sponsoring the January
8-9, 1997, conference at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel
to provide a forum for representatives from business,
government, labor and academia to share information
about effective workplace ergonomics programs.
Nearly two-thirds of all occupational illnesses reported
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1994 were caused by
exposure to repeated trauma to workers upper body (the
wrist, elbow, or shoulder). One common example of such an
illness is carpal tunnel syndrome.
A wide range of workers may experience exposures that
can cause such illnesses, including meat packers, dog
groomers, beauticians, and data entry workers.
Hundreds of thousands of workers exposed to other
types of ergonomic risk factors injure their backs
or experience other types of injuries as a result.
These illnesses and injuries cost American employers
not only in terms of workers' compensation costs, but
also in list productivity, employee turnover and
other indirect costs.
Businesses throughout the country have instituted a
variety of effective ergonomics programs that cut
rates of injuries and illnesses reduce associated
absenteeism, turnover and lost time;
save workers' compensation costs; and improve
productivity and product quality. Although these
programs address different size worksites and types
of work, there are similarities in developing and
implementing programs. The conference will be a
forum to discuss some of these effective ergonomics
practices from small and large corporations and worksites
producing a wide range of products and services.
Final agenda planning for the conference is underway
and a tentative agenda will be available soon. Up-to-date
conference information will be posted on the following
What's New Page and the
CDC Home Page.