The second in a line of initiatives for OSHA’s comprehensive approach to reducing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) was announced April 30 with the formation of the National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics.
The committee will advise on a number of issues involving information on various industry or task-specific guidelines; identification of gaps in the existing research on ergonomics and the application of ergonomic principles to the workplace; current and projected research needs and efforts; methods of providing outreach and assistance that will communicate the value of ergonomics to employers and employees; and ways to increase communication among stakeholders on the issue of ergonomics.
The Committee will consist of 15 members, who will be selected for their expertise and/or experience with ergonomic issues. OSHA will accept nominations from interested parties for membership on the committee. The Committee will report to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. The details of the nomination procedure are contained in a notice scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, May 2, 2002.
Speaking about the Committee, John L. Henshaw, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, stated, “I expect the committee to be a valuable resource in helping OSHA accelerate the decline of these types of injuries.”
“Helping identify gaps in existing research is an important part of the work of this committee,” continued Henshaw. “We look forward to working with the research community, including other government agencies such as NIOSH, in filling those gaps and constructing a more complete body of research with which we can all work.”
“Working with OSHA and our other partners, NIOSH will continue its commitment to bringing sound science to this process,” said NIOSH Acting Director Kathleen M. Rest, Ph.D., M.P.A. NIOSH is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.