OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
U.S. Department of Labor
STATEMENT OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY CHARLES N. JEFFRESS
ON SECOND NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ERGONOMICS REPORT
Thursday, Jan. 18, 2001
Contact: OSHA Public Affairs
Phone: (202) 693-1999
The second National Academy of Sciences' evaluation of research on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) confirms its 1998 report, the 1997 findings of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and OSHA's own analysis verifying the relationship between risk factors at work and MSDs. The 2001 NAS review, prepared by 19 distinguished scientists, also lays to rest any remaining questions about the value of ergonomics programs in preventing these injuries.
Calling MSDs "an important and costly national health problem," the scientists conclude that ergonomic interventions need to be tailored to specific work and worker conditions. They further state that "to be effective, intervention programs should include employee involvement, employer commitment and the development of integrated programs that address equipment design, work procedures, and organization characteristics."
OSHA's ergonomics program standard meets these requirements. Our standard provides the framework to enable employers to effectively respond to the concerns identified by the NAS panel. The standard gives employers the freedom to address problems as they arise and the flexibility to tailor solutions to fit their individual situations. It is a workable, practical approach that will prevent an average of 460,000 injuries annually and save $9 billion each year.
This news release is on the OSHA Internet homepage 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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