OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
News Release USDL: 96-377
Wednesday, September 11, 1996
Contact: Lola DeGroff (OSHA)(202) 219-8151
Fred Blosser (NIOSH) (202) 260-8519
Conference To Address Effective Practices For Confronting $20 Billion Problem
Effective workplace practices that reduce ergonomic illnesses and injuries will be discussed at a conference in Chicago this January.
These illnesses and injuries are the nation's most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers' compensation.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are sponsoring the January 8-9, 1997, conference at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel to provide a forum for representatives from business, government, labor and academia to share information about effective workplace ergonomics programs.
Nearly two-thirds of all occupational illnesses reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1994 were caused by exposure to repeated trauma to workers upper body (the wrist, elbow, or shoulder). One common example of such an illness is carpal tunnel syndrome.
A wide range of workers may experience exposures that can cause such illnesses, including meat packers, dog groomers, beauticians, and data entry workers. Hundreds of thousands of workers exposed to other types of ergonomic risk factors injure their backs or experience other types of injuries as a result. These illnesses and injuries cost American employers not only in terms of workers' compensation costs, but also in list productivity, employee turnover and other indirect costs.
Businesses throughout the country have instituted a variety of effective ergonomics programs that cut rates of injuries and illnesses reduce associated absenteeism, turnover and lost time; save workers' compensation costs; and improve productivity and product quality. Although these programs address different size worksites and types of work, there are similarities in developing and implementing programs. The conference will be a forum to discuss some of these effective ergonomics practices from small and large corporations and worksites producing a wide range of products and services.
Final agenda planning for the conference is underway and a tentative agenda will be available soon. Up-to-date conference information will be posted on the following OSHA's WWW What's New Page and the CDC Home Page.
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