The world of ergonomics might have had its most important month ever in November 2007. “Big deal,” you say! Maybe, maybe not. In early November, the Clinton Administration passed the long awaited OSHA Ergonomics Program Standard. The Standard has been in the works for almost 10 years, initiated by Elizabeth Dole during George Bush’s term. In an effort to protect American workers against the risks of musculoskeletal disorders caused by repetitive motions, as of January 16, 2001 corporations will be required to comply with the standard. The basics of the OSHA Ergonomics Program Standard are the following:
If a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) has occurred in your workplace and You have “Action Trigger Jobs” in your workplace that routinely involve exposure to relevant risk factors.
In order to be compliant with OSHA, you must have an Ergonomics Plan that involves these 8 elements:
1. Determining Action Triggers that caused the MSD occurrence
2. MSD management within 7 days of the occurrence
3. Management leadership and employee participation
4. Training employees involved in setting up and managing the ergonomics program
5. Training team leaders
6. Job hazard analysis
7. Implementing initial controls and then permanent controls
8. Program evaluation
Many business groups oppose the regulations, but OSHA Director Charles Jeffress has confidence in the program. “Years from now, when ergonomic programs are an accepted and successful part of the American workplace, people will be celebrating the substantial benefits achieved,” Jeffress said.
To view the OSHA Ergonomics Program Standard in its entirety visit http://www.osha-slc.gov/ergonomics-standard/regulatory/regtext.html
Future newsletters will contain more detailed information of OSHA’s revolutionary standard.
The other ergonomics happening was the National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas from November 27 – December 1. An excellent turnout of ergonomists and interested business parties attended presentations regarding injury prevention programs, return to work strategies, ergonomics case studies, and the latest ergonomic innovations. For me the convention was an opportunity to see some of my present vendors, meet new ones, and to network with the great people in the field of ergonomics. Amongst those attending, views differ on the potential effects of OSHA’s Standard, ergonomic strategies, and the role of ergonomics in the public and private sector. Yet, everyone seemed to agree that we are on the verge of a tremendous advancement in the protection of workers from the hazards of the workplace.
Tennis Elbow is not limited to tennis players, it is just one of many ways you can get this MSD. There are many symptoms of Tennis Elbow. These symptoms include stiffness, increased pain in the elbow after prolonged activity involving the wrist and hand, and difficulty straightening the elbow.
Mousing can be an extremely fatiguing activity. I always recommend to my clients that they have more than 1 mousing option at their disposal. The Itac Evolution performs all of the functions of a traditional mouse and it provides an excellent change of pace. The Evolution allows the user to glide their cursor around their display by easily rolling a light roller ball.
Tip of the month:
Avoid prolonged work with your elbow in extension greater than 150 degrees. Do not perform strenuous activities with your elbow nearly straight. Move yourself closer to the work you are doing in order to generate more force and minimize stress on your elbow.
ErgErcise of the Month:
Pour Man’s Stretch
1. Extend your left arm out in front of you as you are pointing at something.
2. Make a fist and slightly point your wrist downward.
3. Rotate your entire arm inward as if you are emptying a pitcher of liquid. Hold position for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
4. Repeat with your right arm.
Reproduced with permission from ErgAerobics, Inc. an ergonomics consulting firm specializing in the prevention of workplace injuries. For more information, please call 212.388.1917 or point your browser to http://www.ergaerobics.com