From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

ErgoFlash: Super-Quick News Summaries (9/10/01)

Oh Ergonomic Canada
Canadians will hopefully find it easier to bank thanks to new user interface designs. The National Bank of Canada unveiled its new Internet Wireless Financial Services. According to the National Bank, thanks to ergonomic considerations with the new interface, clients will easily be able to carry out a number of transactions wherever they are, whenever they want, with only their cell phone.

No Ergo for Work at Home
At least that’s the position of the Small Business Survival Committee (SBSC). SBSC President Darrell McKigney says public policy must change to reflect a changing work force. “Too much of our public policy favors the old factory-style work model and is hostile to home businesses. That’s simply a left-over of the old economy where management and labor unions were both hostile to home businesses. Ergonomics rules are among a list of grievances including home office deductibility, insurance deductibility, and payroll taxes which the SBSC feel fall unfavorably on small businesses and the self employed.

California’s Straight Stitch
The California Department of Health Services is looking at musculoskeletal disorder risk factors in garment factories in the San Francisco area. A preliminary study showed that 25% of sewing machine operators had back sprains and 17 percent suffered neck injuries due to sustained trunk and neck flexion characteristic of sewing operations. The final project hopes to improve the working conditions of 12,000 garment workers in that area.

Legal Challenges
While newly appointed OSHA Administer John Henshaw was able to slide through his Senate confirmation hearing with little said on the topic of ergonomics, Labor groups warn the same fate will not go to Solicitor of Labor nominee Eugene Scalia. In a letter to senators, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney stated, “The president has nominated an individual whose extreme views on key worker protections place him outside the mainstream and make him unsuited to hold this important position.” Scalia’s confirmation hearing will take place Thursday, Sep. 20, 2001.