175188 Ergonomics policy - looking back, moving forward

Monday, October 27, 2008: 8:30 AM

Linda Delp, PhD , Labor Occupational Safety & Health Program, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Michael Silverstein, MD, MPH , Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Eden Flynn, MA , Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (SoCalCOSH), Los Angeles, CA
Pamela Vossenas, MPH , Workplace Safety and Health, UNITE HERE, New York, NY
Barbara A. Silverstein, PhD, MPH , SHARP Program, Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, Olympia, WA
Musculoskeletal disorders comprise an estimated one third of reported work-related injuries that result in days lost from work, with important health and economic impacts for affected workers, employers and society as a whole. Regulatory efforts to promote ergonomic controls have generated considerable debate and have seen both failure and limited success at the federal and state level. This panel will provide an overview of those efforts, an update on the current status of ergonomic regulations and a discussion of new initiatives. Presenters represent labor unions, universities, government agencies and COSH groups. They will: 1) summarize the history, and ultimate failure, of efforts to promulgate a federal OSHA standard, 2) describe the clash between science and politics in the context of rulemaking in Washington State including implications for other state efforts, 3) examine the enforcement history of California's standard to prevent repetitive motion injuries, currently the only ergonomics standard in the country, 4) present a case study of a recent Cal/OSHA citation at the LAX Hilton, the first in the hotel industry, describing the convergence of worker education, organizing and regulatory efforts, 5) describe and analyze current rulemaking efforts in Michigan state and, 6) analyze lessons learned from state level rulemaking efforts. Finally, presenters will describe alternative policy approaches to address musculoskeletal disorders including safe patient handling and other legislative initiatives. We pose questions to stimulate discussion about appropriate strategies to prevent musculoskeletal disorders within a changing sociopolitical climate.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: 1) Describe the status of ergonomic regulatory efforts at the state and federal level 2) Analyze the limitations and possibilities of current policy approaches to control work-related musculoskeletal disorders

Keywords: Ergonomics, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD, Community Health Sciences, UCLA SPH Experience: Director, Labor Occupational Safety & Health Program 20 years experience in field of OSH; previously W. Region Dir. of SEIU Reviewer, NIOSH grant proposals and AJIM articles I have provided technical assistance in the area of ergonomics and am a member of the Cal/OSHA Advisory Committee
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.