Fall 2004 Newsletter
In 2004 ergonomics issues are hot and growing at an astounding pace and we all are looking for assistance. The following information will give you some help. As always, contact us if we can be of assistance to you in any way.
Have a healthy and MSD free Fall.
In This Issue
Scientists Say Women Are More Prone to Ergo Problems
Nursing Home Settles OSHA Citation Over Ergo Issues
Steps to a Healthier US Workforce
September Magazine Profiles PT's and Ergonomics
NEW Intermediate Level Ergonomics Course in L.A., CA- November 19 & 20, 2004
Women More Prone to Ergo Problems, Say Scientists
Women are at least twice as likely as men to develop some musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the upper body, contend Ohio State University scientists. They re-analyzed data from 56 previous studies on the subject. Until now, some researchers suspected that women appear to have a higher incidence of these disorders because they are more likely than men to admit to pain and seek treatment. Others believed the gender difference was the result of the women's greater exposure to certain risk factors.
Conventional wisdom has held that men do more physically demanding work, such as heavy lifting, that makes them more susceptible to back problems, while women do the fine, repetitive work that can lead to neck, shoulder, and wrist problems. But this new study showed women more likely than men (2 to 11 times) to develop MSDs even when both have the same job.
The researchers remain unsure as to the reasons for the higher incidence in women, but believe it could be a combination of biomechanical, physiological, psychological, and other factors. As practitioners, this is important for you to keep this in mind as you help your clients adjust workspaces and set up ergonomics programs. More information may be found at http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/womenmsd.htm.
Nursing Home Settles OSHA Citation over Ergo Issues
In a settlement of a citation issued by OSHA, a nursing home in Alabama has agreed to adopt measures to reduce back and shoulder injuries for their employees, who lift nursing-home residents at the company's Jacksonville, Alabama, facility.
The company, Jacksonville Health and Rehabilitation, L.L.C., agreed to ensure the appropriate use of mechanical lift-assist devices and update employee-training programs.
During an inspection, the agency says it found that the facility's injury and illness records included a number of musculoskeletal injuries sustained by nursing assistants that resulted in lost work time and restricted work duty.
"This agreement reflects the company's commitment to eliminate serious musculoskeletal injuries in a cooperative manner," says Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham. "We look forward to working with Jacksonville Health and Rehabilitation to eleminate injuries as the company takes proactive steps to eliminate hazards and better protect its employees."
The impact of this news is that OSHA is citing businesses for ergonomics violations. It is imperative that companies begin developing comprehensive ergonomics and injury prevention programs. Medical facilities are especially a tremendous growth area for those of us who treat and prevent work-related injuries. www.osha.gov for more information.
Steps to A Healthier US Workforce
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness, is unveiling the Steps to a Healthier US Workforce. The initiative is to encourage workplace safety and health programs that focus on both:
Given the rising costs related to increased worker's comp. premiums, increased health insurance premiums, and costs associated with time lost at work, we can play a vital role in helping our clients and their businesses design and implement pro-active programs.
September PT Magazine Profiles PTs and Ergonomics
Watch your mail for the September issue of PT Magazine, featuring a profile of physical therapists involved in ergonomics. Ronald Porter, PT, CEAS and Miriam Joffe, PT, CPE are featured in this issue. The US Department of Labor reports that ergonomics-related injuries account for a third of all workplace injuries involving missed work time. Further, the resulting worker injury claims and loss of productivity cost US employers $13-$20 billion annually. At business and industrial sites across the country, PTs are working with employers to reduce the risk of workplace injuries and empower employees to help themselves.
Educational Notes --- NEW Intermediate Level Ergonomics Course in L.A., CA- November 19 & 20, 2004
We are very excited to be offering the first LIVE presentation of our Intermediate Level Course - The Practice & Management of Occupational Ergonomics - in Los Angeles, CA on November 19 & 20, 2004. I will be joined in teaching this class by Miriam Joffe, PT, CPE. We encourage you to take advantage of this exciting opportunity. Please click here to check our web site for more details.
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