OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
May 7, 2003
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ERGONOMICS
WASHINGTON -- The National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE) today presented their first set of work plans to OSHA to assist the agency in its goal of reducing musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace. The committee wrapped up its second meeting in Washington following two days of work group sessions highlighting guidelines, outreach and assistance, and research.
"We challenged you in January to use your collective expertise to help us achieve our goal of reducing musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace," Henshaw told the 15-member committee, lauding the productivity of the work groups. "In only two meetings, you're already given us much to consider and I look forward to your continued best recommendations on some tough issues that ultimately will help us achieve our goal of reducing musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace."
The committee's efforts focused on three work groups: guidelines, outreach and assistance, and research. The guidelines work group discussed factors that OSHA should use to determine specific industries for which guidelines should be developed, including injury/illness rates, population impacted, willingness of specific industry stakeholders, and taking into consideration existing successful program models. The group also suggested various types of data OSHA should consider that help demonstrate that ergonomics makes good financial sense, such as savings in a lower worker turnover rate, lower workers compensation costs, and increased productivity and worker morale.
The breakout group on outreach and assistance has already begun reviewing current OSHA outreach efforts, and will review the agency's website and links to other resources. The group will also be identifying industries and organizations willing to share ergonomic best practices, success stories and their own outreach materials, and others willing to join OSHA in conducting ergonomics seminars and roundtables throughout the country.
Based upon a recommendation of the research discussion group, NACE is recommending a symposium for published researchers on work-related musculoskeletal disorders to examine in detail their studies and the methodologies used. The research group also recommended that future presentations to the full committee include a neurologist to discuss diagnostics as a key to effective research, and a presentation on research reports from the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics was selected by Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao last December and is tasked with advising her and the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA on ergonomic guidelines, outreach and assistance, and research. Chartered for two years, the committee is scheduled to meet again in September.
OSHA is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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