OSHA has extended the public comment period for the first set of industry-specific ergonomics guidelines – Guidelines for Nursing Homes – from September 30th to October 30th.
OSHA is granting a 30-day extension in response to industry and labor requests for additional time to submit written comments guidelines.
The guidelines are intended to provide practical solutions for reducing ergonomics-related injuries and illnesses in nursing homes. They will not be used for enforcement purposes. Draft guidelines are being developed for other industries and will also be available for comment.
“These guidelines are the result of an extensive and cooperative process involving a wide-ranging, inclusive review of both scientific information and existing ergonomic practices and programs in the nursing home,” said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. “We also conducted one-on-one meetings with major stakeholder groups to gather information on best practices that have been successfully used in the nursing home industry to ensure we are recommending practical solutions that will work in the real world.”
The guidelines are in three parts, with a reference list at the end:
- Management Practices discusses the importance of management commitment and employee participation in ergonomics training, occupational health management of musculoskeletal disorders, and ergonomics program evaluation;
- Worksite Analysis discusses assessment of resident handling tasks and activities other than resident handling; and
- Control Methods contains illustrations that demonstrate various methods to control common ergonomic stressors.
The guideline is available on OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov/ergonomics (select “Draft Guidelines for Nursing Homes”).
Interested parties must submit written comments by Oct. 30. Written comments (10 pages or fewer) can be faxed to OSHA’s Docket Office at (202) 693-1648 or sent electronically to http://ecomments.osha.gov. Three copies of written comments and attachments must be submitted to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. GE2002-1, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC,
20210. Individuals who wish to comment but who do not have Internet access can request a printed copy of the guidelines by calling OSHA toll-free at 1-800-321-OSHA.