OSHA Ergonomics in Effect

Here we go. As of January 16, 2001, OSHA has arrived on the ergonomics scene. As one of former President Clinton’s last actions in office, he succeeded in passing the OSHA Ergonomics Standard into law. It was a complicated process that was begun by then Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole during George Bush’s term. Many say that the standard will be held up in the courts, but George W. has not attempted to knock it down yet.

Many opposed to the standard requested that it be upheld until the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) concluded their study on ergonomics. The results of that study came in last week and the study concluded that “well-designed intervention programs,” such as the programs proposed by OSHA’s ergonomic standard, can reduce lost productivity due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). “Our standard provides the framework to enable employers to effectively respond to the concerns identified by the NAS panel,” says OSHA assistant secretary Charles Jeffress. Jeffress says OHSA’s program will prevent 460,000 injuries and save $9 billion each year.

So now we have this law that says all businesses are required to comply by October 14, 2001 or OSHA will come knocking at your door. Most business people have no idea what the standard entails. Many don’t even have a clue what ERGONOMICS is. Risk and Safety Managers, Human Resource professionals, and Corporate Health professionals want as much information about the Ergonomics Standard in as clear and concise manner as possible.

Ergonomics and the Lower Back Article:

We’ve all heard the statistics. 80% of Americans experience a significant lower back injury at some point in their lives. We’ve heard the explanations. We push ourselves too hard. We were never intended to stand upright. It’s all in our heads. Does any of this sound familiar? Regardless of the reason, the fact is that back injuries occur ­ sometimes by way of traumatic injury and sometimes for “no reason at all.” As occupational medicine professionals it is our job to help our patients onto the road to recovery.
Please read on at http://ergaerobics.com/erginfo/art8.sht

Product Review:

Plantronics Vista Amplifier and Mirage Headset I do not like headsets. They annoy me. The sound is usually awful and the person on the other end can’t understand a word you’re saying. Worst of all, they get in the way. Like them or not, headsets are an ergonomic essential for anyone who works at a computer and speaks on the phone. If you live in this century, then this probably is you. A good headset may be the single best way to avoid neck and upper extremity MSDs from computer use.

Tip of the month:

Be sure to tighten your abdominals (stomach muscles) in order to support your lower back whenever performing a strenuous activity. This includes lifting, reaching, or bending.

ErgErcise of the Month:

Pillow Squeeze:
To be performed while sitting at work or elsewhere. 1. Sit normally in your chair or seat with your fee firmly on the floor. 2. Suck your stomach in as if you are pulling on a tight pair of pants. 3. At the same time, push your lower back into the back of your chair. Hold the position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times

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

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