From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

HealthCare Ergonomics Conference Announcement

A national leader on the subject of low back disorders in the workplace will deliver the keynote speech at the third National HealthCare Ergonomics Conference March 9-12 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. Bill Marras, Ph.D, CPE, and director of the Biodynamics Laboratory at The Ohio State University, will discuss how various risk factors interact to increase the risk of low back pain and how these risks can be effectively mediated with special focus on patient handling tasks.

Other conferences cover healthcare ergonomics in one form or another, but Lynda Enos, Co-Chair, Oregon Coalition for HealthCare Ergonomics (OCHE), explains this event is different because it "addresses the application of ergonomics not only to patient handling and care, but to support services such as housekeeping, and other patient care areas such as diagnostic imaging and rehabilitation. Topics are applicable to acute and long term acre and home health services, and the general conference sessions are longer (90 minutes) to allow time for presentation of ‘real world’ case studies, review of evidence based ergonomics program practices and in depth audience discussion."

Other health care ergonomic topics to be offered include:

  • Making the business case for ergonomics and safe patient/resident handling programs
  • Safe patient handling equipment selection and installation
  • Caring for the obese population, presented by national speaker Susan Gallagher Camden, RN, HCRM, WOCN, CBN, MSN, PhD
  • The patient’s perspective on safe patient handling, which will feature real patients and their families discussing their experience with Safe Patient Handling (SPH) equipment in hospitals and other health care environments
  • Ergonomics for computer and e-charting workstations, environmental services and housekeeping, rehabilitation, therapy, and diagnostic services

Registration for the conference is open. Enos expects that nurses and other patient care providers, ergonomists, health and safety professionals, therapists, managers and administrators, facilities designers and purchasers will all gain from this conference, and extends a special invitation to nursing students and faculty. "The conference offers attendees an excellent opportunity to network with their peers and to learn how to build and sustain effective ergonomics and safe patient handling programs in current economic climate in health care," she adds.

The Oregon Coalition for HealthCare Ergonomics, the University of Washington Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety, and the Washington Safe Patient Handling Steering Committee are presenting this Healthcare focused conference in conjunction with the 2009 Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference. The GOSH Conference will feature more than 30 full-day workshops and 115 single-topic classes. It is designed to educate managers and workers about safety and health issues. The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA), a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, is partnering with the Columbia-Willamette Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers to sponsor the conference.

More information about the event is available on the GOSH Web site,