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OSHA Trade Release
Monday, July 28, 2003
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999

OSHA Signs Landmark Partnership Agreement with Johnson & Johnson
Focus on reducing ergonomics injuries, showcasing company's best practices

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to help develop and identify best practices that will reduce ergonomics injuries in the workplace. The three-year partnership will provide OSHA with first-hand knowledge of Johnson & Johnson's successful ergonomics programs.

"We know that Johnson & Johnson recognizes the seriousness of musculoskeletal disorders in their workforce," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw at the signing ceremony, July 22. "We're delighted that they want to work with us in a cooperative manner that ultimately will benefit thousands of America's workers. We look forward to the months ahead and the results that will be achieved through our new relationship."

"Our vision is to be the world leader in health and safety by creating an injury-free workplace," said Ather Williams, Jr., Johnson & Johnson Vice President for Worldwide Safety and Industrial Hygiene. "This partnership is an important step on this journey." Joining Henshaw and Williams at the signing ceremony were Joseph Van Houten, Johnson & Johnson's Global Champion for Ergonomics and Monica V. Matlis, Worldwide Manager, Ergonomics, Johnson & Johnson.

The partnership's foundation is built upon four goals: reduce the incidence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) at the company's operating facilities; identify and communicate an effective process to develop and implement successful ergonomics programs; identify at minimum three Johnson & Johnson ergonomics best practices and related training in the company's pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer goods divisions; and share the company's best practices in ergonomics with other facilities throughout the company, other industries, and the public.

Under the terms of the partnership, Johnson & Johnson will develop a written process to address ergonomics hazards in the workplace, covering management commitment and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and training. OSHA will also work with the company to develop an ergonomics protocol for assessing compliance requirements, and for communicating best practices through various compliance assistance tools, training (Education Center courses) and other outreach programs (e.g., Consultation, etc.).

Various incentives for participating worksites are on the menu including maximum allowable penalty reductions for ergonomics and other violations that are abated in a timely manner, six month deferral in programmed inspections, and ergonomics technical assistance to assist and advise on specific issues.

A partnership management team from OSHA, Johnson & Johnson's operating companies, and labor unions will oversee and coordinate the partnership. That team will develop appropriate criteria to measure the partnership's progress. Some of those measures will include the number of company sites where best practices and ergonomics processes have been implemented, the number of MSD cases involving restricted work activity and days away from work, and the identification and documentation of nine best practices and related training materials.

OSHA is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit


This news release text is on the Internet at Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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