December 31, 2012

UK Ergonomists Mark 20th Anniversary of DSE and ‘Six Pack’ Regulations

Twenty years ago on 1 January 1993, the UK implemented six wide ranging health & safety regulations that included provisions for ergonomics. Dubbed the ‘Six Pack', the 1993 regulations made clearer duties in relation to some activities (e.g. computer work, manual handling) and gave more detail and guidance to help employers protect the health & safety of their staff. "As a result, both employers and employees know much more about safer working practices and what has to be done in the workplace by both parties to achieve this. More could still be done to combat stress and improve overall employee wellbeing. And there will always be some difficult situations which will require compromise solutions," says Dave O'Neill, Chief Executive of the IEHF.
May 10, 2012

Towards a 21st Century Approach to Government Regulation

Drawing on 40 years of his own experience -- and noting that last year was OSHA's 40th anniversary -- well-known ergonomist Dan MacLeod presents his vision for OSHA reform, particularly when it comes to ergonomics. "During this time, OSHA generated striking improvements in working conditions, but has to my mind been simultaneously plagued by its approach to enforcement ... My experience gives me a sense of optimism that there are better ways to regulate industry. The premise of ergonomics is that with good design we can simultaneously improve human well being and increase overall efficiency. I suspect this principle applies to Federal regulations and agencies as much as it does to powered hand tools and production lines."
May 2, 2012

Profits, Not Compliance, Will Drive Ergonomics

This 10 year old article, republished with permission from ErgoWeb's subscription-based The Ergonomics Report, remains highly relavent today, and the title says it well: Profits, Not Compliance, Will Drive Ergonomics.
April 17, 2012

A Possible OSHA Ergonomics Protection Standard

In this Ergoweb exclusive, Dr. David Cochran shares the standard that he and many of his ergonomics colleagues would have preferred over the version that was rescinded by the USA Congress in 2001. Dr. Cochran was instrumental as an ergonomics expert and advocate within OSHA as the standard was being developed. As with any political process, compromises were made that many felt weakened the standard, and perhaps even determined its fate. The documents he shares in this article contain the full standard as he and others wished it would have been, and can now be used as an excellent blueprint for the elements of a successful ergonomics program.
December 13, 2011

IMPORTANT CORRECTION and UPDATE: Safe Patient Handling Law Signed by California Governor

We previously reported that the start of enforcement for California's new Safe Patient Handling law, AB 1136, Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act, would not occur until January 2013. However, that was incorrect; the actual enforcement start date is January 1, 2012, just weeks from now. In this article, Peter Budnick revisits AB 1136, correcting the start date error, reviewing several points of confusion in the language of the law, and provides a concise, point-by-point summary of the law's key requirements.
October 10, 2011

Report on Musculoskeletal disorders in the European Union

The 2010 Report on Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the European Union highlights the current state of Occupational Health and Safety as well as a number of trends in the risk profiles for member states. This article summarizes some of the findings collected over the past two decades and builds on previous EU-OSHA reports.
April 21, 2011

Michigan Fights Workplace Ergonomics

Workplace ergonomics takes a beating in the USA State of Michigan as the legislature and governor pass a new law prohibiting the promulgation of ergonomics related workplace standards. Is it time for the ergonomics community to finally put politics aside and focus on proving our value to society?
January 26, 2011

OSHA Backs Down on MSD Recordkeeping; Michigan Governor to Fight Ergonomics Regulation

OSHA has "temporarily" withdrawn its proposal to restore a column on the work-related musculoskeletal disorders on employer injury and illness logs (300 logs). Newly elected Michigan Governor Rick Snyder vows to fight an ergonomics regulation in his own state, citing it as an example of mandatory and overreaching regulation that drives away employers.
September 9, 2010

Ergonomics Turf War; OSHA Gets Aggressive

A roundup of ergonomics topics: Is there a turf battle brewing in the field of ergonomics? Which side are you on? Plus, OSHA is taking a stand on long working hours for medical residents, and has levied a $50.6 million fine against BP -- and that's for past sins -- they haven't yet hit them for the Gulf oil spill.
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