May 24th, 2001

ErgoFlash 5/24/01

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Ergonomics and Free Trade
A free trade deal signed between the U.S. and Jordan has some worried about the impact on U.S. Labor laws. The agreement requires that neither Jordan nor the United States “derogate” from its labor laws to promote trade. Some labor activists contend that this agreement was broken with the repeal of workplace ergonomics rules which they contend was a derogation of our health and safety laws.

Feeling Overworked?
If you are, you probably aren’t alone. A study released by the Families and Work Institute concludes that over 50% of Americans feel overworked. Overworked employees reported amongst other things; making more mistakes at work, feeling more anger in the workplace, sleeping less, and having poorer health. The study can be found at http://www.familiesandwork.org/.

OSHA Goes International
No, this doesn’t mean that OSHA might start citing the Queen for tea time violations. It does mean that OSHA and ANSI have renewed their 25 year old agreement to promote safety and health standards. As part of that agreement, OSHA pledged to work with ANSI on international standardization activities. It has previously only taken part in national activities.

Too Tough to Type
Italian researchers published in the May issue of the journal “Epidemiology” report that the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in men is underreported. Their study looked at reporting symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome vs. nerve function. While more women reported symptoms of CTS, men showed more severe nerve impairment. Researchers believe that men may seek medical attention for CTS only after it becomes severe leaving less severe cases undiagnosed.



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