US Labor Department's OSHA renews strategic partnership to decrease
musculoskeletal injuries in northeast Wisconsin foundries
APPLETON, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has renewed a strategic partnership with northeast Wisconsin foundries to improve ergonomic programs and reduce the rate of musculoskeletal injuries. The foundry industry has a high rate of musculoskeletal and other ergonomic-related injuries due to tasks such as moving heavy equipment, material handling and the use of pneumatic equipment such as grinders and sanders.
OSHA established the partnership in 2003 with Neenah Foundry, ThyssenKrupp Waupaca Foundry, Brillion Iron Works, Roloff Manufacturing Corp., Manitowoc Grey Iron Foundry and Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry Co. In addition to the original members, participants in the renewed partnership also include the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Locals 121B, 271 and 301; the United Steel Workers Local 125; the International Association of Machinist Locals 516 and 1947; the Mercury Marine-Division of Brunswick Corp.; the Professional Association of County Employees Local 70475; and C.A. Lawton Co.
"This partnership was initiated nearly a decade ago by six Wisconsin foundries and reflects our recognition of the importance of foundry workers' safety and health, along with our cooperative goal to develop effective safety programs," said Frank Winingham, director of OSHA's Appleton Area Office.
The partnership promotes continuous improvement to reduce injuries through education, hazard assessments, and the re-engineering of work stations and work processes whenever possible, as well as increasing safety and health training, and sharing best practices.
The collaborative work of the partnership resulted in the 2012 OSHA publication "Solutions for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal injuries in Foundries," which provides ergonomic solutions for foundries to consider that are both cost-effective and successful in reducing musculoskeletal injuries. The publication is available at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3465.pdf*.
Through its Strategic Partnership Program, OSHA works with employers, workers, professional and trade associations, labor organizations and other interested stakeholders to establish specific goals, strategies and performance measures to improve worker safety and health. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/partnerships/index.html.
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 http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.