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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to foster safer and more healthful American workplaces. OSHA and ACOEM therefore agree to form an Alliance to use their collective expertise to help advance a culture of prevention while sharing best practices and technical knowledge, especially in the area of ergonomics.

OSHA and ACOEM agree to establish an Alliance to promote safe and healthful working conditions for workers by:

  • Providing ACOEM members with information and guidance that will help them work with their employers to protect employees' health and safety, particularly in the areas of reducing and preventing exposure to ergonomic hazards.

  • Reaching out to ACOEM members who may benefit from mentoring or guidance in developing, implementing, and/or improving ergonomic programs.

  • Providing health care providers, with information and guidance, developed by ACOEM, for recognizing, diagnosing and treating ergonomic injuries.

OSHA and ACOEM will work together to achieve the following outreach and communication goals:

  • Develop and disseminate information at conferences, events, and/or through print and electronic media, including links from OSHA's and ACOEM's Web sites.

  • Speak, exhibit, or appear at conferences, local meetings, or other events to promote the effectiveness of ACOEM's ergonomic programs and best practices; as jointly defined by OSHA and ACOEM.

  • Cross-train OSHA personnel and industry safety and health practitioners in ACOEM's ergonomic best practices and/or programs; as jointly defined by OSHA and ACOEM.

  • Promote and encourage ACOEM's members' participation in OSHA's cooperative programs such as compliance assistance, the Voluntary Protection Program, Consultation, and SHARP.

  • Encourage ACOEM's members to act as mentors to smaller employers to help implement ergonomic programs and review ergonomic best practices; as jointly defined by OSHA and ACOEM.

OSHA and ACOEM will work together to achieve the following goals related to promoting the national dialogue on workplace safety and health:

  • Encourage ACOEM's members to act as liaisons and resources for OSHA's cooperative programs and Compliance Assistance Specialists.

  • Share information on ergonomic best practices and innovative solutions, as jointly defined by OSHA and ACOEM, with employers, workers and other health care providers through outreach by ACOEM and OSHA-developed training programs and materials.

  • Share data demonstrating the reduction of ergonomic hazards through the use of programs developed by ACOEM and its members. In addition, share examples of ergonomic hazard recognition strategies and analytical tools with OSHA and others in the industry to encourage wide implementation. Promote their implementation through print or electronic media, at conferences, or through other means of reaching out to others in the health care industry.

  • Convene or participate in forums and roundtable discussions on ergonomics to help forge innovative solutions to ergonomic issues in the workplace. ACOEM will also help to make the business case for sound ergonomic programs.

  • Participate in stakeholder groups and other appropriate forums for providing information during the development of the medical areas of voluntary ergonomic guidelines and other documents developed by OSHA.

OSHA and ACOEM will also work together to achieve the following training and education goals:

  • Develop and deliver training modules and educational programs for health care providers on ergonomic issues.

  • Facilitate the training of Occupational Medicine residents in recognizing, diagnosing and treating injuries that may be ergonomic-related.

An implementation team made up of representatives of both organizations will meet to develop a plan of action, determine working procedures, and identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants. In addition, they will meet at least quarterly to track and share information on activities and results in achieving the goals of the Alliance. OSHA will afford the opportunity for representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association and the association of state Consultation Projects to participate as well.

The information provided by ACOEM and/or its members is for the purpose of contributing to informed decision-making by the Agency and any other recipients of this information. Information provided by ACOEM does not constitute an official statement or position by ACOEM and is not intended by the parties to create any legal obligations for ACOEM or its individual members. ACOEM is not a standard setting organization, and information provided pursuant to this Alliance Agreement is not intended as a legally binding standard or guideline.

This agreement will remain in effect for one year from the date of signing and will automatically be renewed annually thereafter. This agreement may be modified at any time with the concurrence of both signatories and may be terminated for any reason with 30 days written notice from either signatory.

John Henshaw
Assistant Secretary
Occupational Safety and Health Administration


Edward Bernacki
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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