Alliance -- An OSHA Cooperative Program<< Back to American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)


I. Alliance Background

Date Signed

March 10, 2003

Overview

The OSHA and the AAOS Alliance focuses on helping industries and workers by educating and serving as a resource to AAOS members, industry, workers, and OSHA personnel in reducing and preventing exposure to ergonomic hazards. The Alliance's goals include:

Outreach and communication

  • Develop and disseminate information at conferences, events, and through print and electronic media, including links from OSHA's and AAOS' Web sites.
  • Speak and exhibit at conferences or other events, such as the AAOS Annual Meeting or AAOS Workers' Compensation Course, to promote the effectiveness of OSHA's approach to addressing ergonomics.
  • Educate OSHA personnel on current research initiatives and identifying workplace hazards.
  • OSHA will work with AAOS as AAOS develops a clearinghouse of training and education information on ergonomic issues.

Promoting the national dialogue on workplace safety and health

  • Encourage AAOS members to act as liaisons and resources for OSHA's cooperative programs.
  • Share information supporting the solutions to ergonomic hazards developed by AAOS, as well as examples of hazard recognition strategies and analytical tools, with OSHA and others. Promote their implementation through print or electronic media, conferences, or other means of reaching out to other constituents.
  • Convene or participate in forums and roundtable discussions on ergonomic problems to help forge innovative solutions to ergonomic issues in the workplace.

Implementation Team Members

AAOS:
Dr. Richard E. Strain
Dan Sung
Chair, Occupational Health and Workers' Compensation Committee
Policy Analyst


OSHA:
Brett Besser
Bob Curtis
Kim Nguyen
Lisa Ramber
Dr. George
Elizabeth Sherfy
Nilgun Tolek*

Salt Lake Technical Center
Salt Lake Technical Center
Office of Outreach Services and Alliances
Office of Outreach Services and Alliances
Ruby Directorate of Science Technology and Medicine
Office of Outreach Services and Alliances
Office of Outreach Services and Alliances
*until November 2003


Contributors


Lisa Brown
Kym Pond
Contractor for OSHA, Salt Lake Technical Center
Contractor for OSHA, Salt Lake Technical Center

Evaluation Period

March 10, 2003 – March 9, 2004

II. Implementation Team Meetings

  • April 28, 2003 Kick-off meeting
  • July 28, 2003 Team Meeting
  • March 5, 2004 Team Meeting

Joint meeting with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA):

  • October 6, 2003 Conference call

Events and Products

Outreach and Communication

Events:

Half-day Seminar on Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders, Washington Court Hotel, Washington, D.C., May 30, 2003

AAOS members spoke to OSHA personnel and Alliance Program participants (e.g., Society of the Plastics Industry) on topics, including: "Research - Credibility and Fairness from Reliable Information and the Science of Risk Factors for Back Problems at Work;" "The Activity Paradigm for Treatment of Acute Low Back Pain;" "Magnetic Resonance Imaging;" "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the Workplace: An Evidence-Based Review;" "The Worker's Elbow: An Evidence-Based Review;" and "Shoulder Disorders: Work Activity Considerations."

Second Annual OSHA Compliance Assistance Conference, Tysons Corner Marriott, Vienna, Virginia, June, 9-13, 2003

AAOS exhibited during the conference, June 9-13, 2003.

Products:

  • OSHA and AAOS Alliance Web Page

    The OSHA and AAOS Alliance Web page on OSHA's Web site contains information on the Alliance, products and resources, activities and events, and milestones and successes. The page is updated regularly.

  • AAOS Web page – Link to Alliance agreement, OSHA news release and OSHA Alliance Web page from AAOS Web page.

  • March 10, 2003 – OSHA distributed a news release announcing the Alliance.

  • March 15, 2003 – OSHA included information on the OSHA/AAOS Alliance signing in its bi-weekly e-newsletter, QuickTakes.

  • March 17, 2003 – InsideHealthPolicy.com published article entitled, "OSHA to Work With Orthopedic Surgeons on Reducing Ergo Injuries," on OSHA/AAOS Alliance.

  • April 2003 – The AAOS Bulletin, AAOS' bimonthly magazine, published an article on the OSHA/AAOS Alliance agreement, including a general description of the goals of the agreement. AAOS also posts this magazine on their Web page.

  • AAOS is participating on the following two editorial boards for OSHA's Safety and Health Topics pages:

    • Motor Vehicle Safety
    • Construction Motor Vehicle Safety

Promoting the National Dialogue on Workplace Safety and Health

Events:

National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE) Research Symposium, Washington, D.C., January 27-28, 2004

AAOS member, Dr. Peter Amadio of the Mayo Clinic of Medicine, gave a presentation entitled, "The Evidence for Repetitive Microtrauma as a Factor in the Etiology of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Study of the Subsynovial Connective Tissue" at the NACE Research Symposium.

Products:

AAOS is working with two other Alliance Program participants, ACOEM and AIHA, to develop a definition of upper-extremity work relatedness for use in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders.

III. Results

AAOS has demonstrated its commitment to improving workplace safety and health through implementing innovative programs and its willingness to work cooperatively with other Alliance Program participants. The AAOS Implementation Team met several times and identified several possible short-term and long-term projects for the team to work on during its first year. The Academy is committed to providing ongoing support to OSHA offices by supplying expertise through their participation on OSHA's Safety and Health Topics pages' editorial boards for Construction Motor Vehicle Safety and Motor Vehicle Safety. The knowledge that the AAOS members contribute is helping to increase the value of these pages for safety and health professionals and the public.

The implementation team agreed that OSHA staff and others would benefit from presentations by AAOS members on work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). As a result, a several AAOS members provided a half-day seminar on workplace ergonomics to OSHA staff and Alliance Program participants on May 30, 2003, in Washington, D.C. The seminar was added as a second day to AAOS' Occupational Safety and Worker Compensation Committee. AAOS members who gave presentations included Professor Stanley Bigos, M.D.; Robert H Haralson III, M.D., MBA; Barry P. Simmons, M.D.; and Jon B. Tucker, M.D. Over 30 attendees including representatives from several Alliances and OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Directorate of Science Technology and Medicine, and Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs heard AAOS presenters discuss a variety of issues affecting workplace MSDs.

Speaking and exhibiting opportunities that have occurred as a result of the Alliance are invaluable to both organizations as was proven in 2003. Dr. Peter Amadio of the Mayo Clinic of Medicine and an AAOS member, gave a presentation entitled, "The Evidence for Repetitive Microtrauma as a Factor in the Etiology of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Study of the Subsynovial Connective Tissue" at the NACE Research Symposium held January 27-28, 2004. NACE convened the symposium to hear new and relevant research data from ergonomics experts to help it make recommendations to advance OSHA's agenda of reducing the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace. Additionally, AAOS' participation at the Second Annual OSHA Compliance Assistance Conference in June 2003 showed that the association is willing to meet OSHA representatives and be available to talk frankly about safety and health issues in the workplace.

Type of Activity
(Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.)
Number of Individuals
Reached or Trained
National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics Meeting, Washington, DC., January 27-28, 2004, "The Evidence for Repetitive Microtrauma as a Factor in the Etiology of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Study of the Subsynovial Connective Tissue"

AAOS Speakers:
Dr. Peter Amadio, Mayo Clinic of Medicine
100+
Half-day Seminar on Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders, Washington Court Hotel, Washington, D.C., May 30, 2003.

AAOS Speakers included:
Professor Stanley Bigos, M.D.;
Robert H Haralson III, M.D., MBA;
Barry P. Simmons, M.D.; and
Jon B. Tucker, M.D.
30
Second Annual OSHA Compliance Assistance Conference, Tysons Corner Marriott, Vienna, VA, June 9-13, 2003.
AAOS exhibited
200
OSHA and AAOS Alliance Web page on OSHA's Web site 4,000
AAOS Web site – Link to Alliance Website  
March 10, 2003 – OSHA distributed a news release announcing the Alliance. 25 News Services
March 15, 2003 – OSHA included information on the OSHA/AAOS Alliance signing in its bi-weekly e-newsletter, QuickTakes. 35,000
March 17, 2003 – InsideHealthPolicy.com published article entitled, "OSHA to Work With Orthopedic Surgeons on Reducing Ergo Injuries," on OSHA/AAOS Alliance.  
April 2003 - The AAOS Bulletin, AAOS' bimonthly magazine, published an article on the OSHA/AAOS Alliance agreement, including a general description of the goals of the agreement. AAOS also posts this magazine on their Web page.  
OSHA's Safety and Health Topics pages:
Motor Vehicle Safety
Construction Motor Vehicle Safety
Data Not Available
TOTAL 39,330

IV. Upcoming Milestones

AAOS has several projects planned for the upcoming year. AAOS will continue to work closely with ACOEM and AIHA to lay the foundation for developing guidance on upper extremity MSDs. They have developed a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines the responsibilities of each of the three Alliance Program participants. They will finalize the MOU when they have raised sufficient funds to begin working on the project.

AAOS plans to host a second ergonomics meeting on May 14, 2004 for OSHA staff and Alliance Program participants. AAOS plans to change the format to include participation by other Alliance Program participants. AAOS would like the ergonomics roundtable to provide the opportunity for other Alliance participants talk about the ergonomic projects they are working on and network with one another. The roundtable will follow a meeting of AAOS' Occupational Health and Workers Compensation Committee.

The implementation team plans to develop a generic back-to-work reporting form that physicians across the country can use. A doctor who is treating an injured worker may have to provide the worker's employer with a back-to-work form that specifies any limitations on the worker's ability to perform his or her job. Currently, back-to-work reporting forms vary from state to state in the information that they require and whether or not they are mandatory. AAOS plans to survey the states through its members and identify what information should go into a generic form for use by all states.

AAOS is committed to providing expertise and input on OSHA publications and resources, including existing OSHA Safety and Health Topics pages such as Construction Motor Vehicle Safety and Motor Vehicle Safety. AAOS also has agreed to work with other Alliance Program participants to help with the development of a new Motor Vehicle Safety eTool. The Academy also has offered to provide a medical review OSHA's library of ergonomics success stories.

The implementation team is committed to working together to identify additional venues to promote the Alliance through speaking and exhibiting opportunities such as OSHA's 2004 Compliance Assistance Training Sessions, to be held June 14-18, 2004, in Falls Church, Virginia, and AAOS' 72nd Annual Meeting, to be held in February 2005, in Washington, DC.

Report prepared by: Elizabeth Sherfy, Alliance Coordinator, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances, August 4, 2004