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Printing Industry eTool


Ergonomics in the Printing Industry

Workers involved in printing processes may be at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) from workplace activities which force them to work outside their physical capacities (i.e., lifting an item that is too heavy, or lifting too often, or working in awkward body postures). MSDs are a serious problem as they can increase the number of employee lost work days, increase insurance costs, increase training and staffing costs, and reduce operation efficiency and quality. Changes which allow employees to work within their physical limits reduce the number errors, sick days, and injuries and enable employees to be more productive and produce a higher quality product. Ergonomic improvements are often simple and obvious, but even if they require significant effort they generally justify the resources spent. Good ergonomics is good business.

This eTool is a product of the OSHA and Graphics Arts Coalition Alliance. This eTool* provides information based on the experience of others with the hope of making the process of hazard minimization easier. This eTool is divided into the following process pages that correspond to the major styles of printing: LithographyFlexography, and Screen Printing.

Lithography
Lithography
Flexography
Flexography
Screen Printing
Screen Printing

Within each process page the user will find a description of the printing process and the trouble areas that have currently been identified for that process. The user can navigate between each area to become familiar with the hazard and to see what others have identified as possible solutions allowing an employer or employee to address these problems.

Workers' Rights

Workers have the right to:

  • Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
  • Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
  • Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.

For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.

How to Contact OSHA

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.


*eTools are "stand-alone", interactive, Web-based training tools specializing in occupational safety and health topics. They utilize graphical menus and as indicated in the disclaimer, do not create new OSHA requirements.
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