From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

OSHA Invites Public Comment on New Ergonomics Guidelines

WASHINGTON — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today that the first set of industry-specific ergonomics guidelines – Guidelines for Nursing Homes – are available for public comment. The guidelines is available on OSHA’s website at (select “Draft Guidelines for Nursing Homes”).

“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 guidelines are intended to provide practical solutions for reducing ergonomic-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. Interested parties must submit written comments by September 30. Individuals are required to submit their intent to participate in a one-day stakeholder meeting by September 19. (Note: The meeting will be held in the Washington, D.C. area; location and date to be announced following comment period).

Written comments (10 pages or fewer) and intent to participate can be faxed to OSHA’s Docket Office at (202) 693-1648 or sent electronically to Three copies of written comments and attachments, or one copy of intent to participate 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, D.C. 20210. Individuals who wish to comment who do not have Internet access can request a printed copy of the guidelines by calling OSHA toll-free at 1-800-321-OSHA.

Further information on submitting comments can be obtained by calling the Docket Office at (202) 693-2350.