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OSHA Trade Release

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Trade News Release
November 20, 2006
Contact: Elaine Fraser
Phone: (202) 693-1999

OSHA Adds Screen Printing Module to Printing Industry Ergonomics eTool

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently launched a new Screen Printing module as part of its interactive Web-based Ergonomics in the Printing Industry eTool. The module and eTool are products of the agency's Alliance with the Graphic Arts Coalition.

"Employers and employees will benefit from this significant addition to an important resource that will help educate them about avoiding ergonomic-related injuries in the printing industry," said OSHA Administrator Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "The screen printing module builds on the practical information in the eTool that demonstrates how employees can make ergonomic adjustments to avoid hazards in the workplace."

Screen printing allows a heavier amount of ink to be set down via a process involving an industrial woven fabric or "screen" manually stretched to a fixed tension and attached to a frame. Employees push ink through the screen using a sweeping motion with a squeegee. This process can be used on a variety of materials of varying sizes, including paper, plastics, pressure sensitive adhesive material (such as bumper stickers), metal, glass, ceramic, leather and wood. The new tool provides information about four stages of the screen printing process: pre-press, press, post press and materials handling.

The Ergonomics in the Printing Industry eTool focuses on providing employees involved in printing processes with information on preventing musculoskeletal disorders that may result from workplace activities, including lifting heavy items, lifting too often, or working in awkward body postures. It also includes modules on Lithography and Flexography printing styles.

The Screen Printing module identifies potential ergonomic hazards and possible solutions to reduce injuries within the screen printing process. Users can access specific printing tasks, such as stretching, attaching and cleaning mesh screens, for a description of each task and the potential hazards identified for that job. The user can navigate within each task to become familiar with the hazards and to learn about possible solutions.

The Graphic Arts Coalition includes the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association, Flexographic Technical Association, and the Gravure Association of America.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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