Despite four years of the Bush administration's "CompRehensive APproach" to ergonomics (outreach, enforcement, and research -- but not regulations), ergonomic injuries not only remain stuck at one-third of all serious workplace injuries and illnesses that involved days away from work, but they are also more severe than other injuries, causing workers to stay out of work longer.
The service sector had the most MSDs, with 71% of all cases. Health care and social assistance were the industry sectors that reported the most cases, with 19 percent of all MSD cases. Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants were the occupation with the most MSDs. Laborers and material movers, along with heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and the second and third most MSDs.
Carpal tunnel syndrome had the highest median days away from work (32 days), even more than fractures (30 days), and amputations (30 days). The longest absences from work were caused by repetitive motion, such as grasping tools, scanning groceries, and typing.
Despite this news, Acting Assistant Secretary Jonathan Snare remains firmly locked in see-no-evil, hear-no-evil" mode.
Today's data, along with the seven-percent decline in workplace injuries and illnesses from 2002 to 2003 that BLS reported last December, validates OSHA's policy of targeting outreach and enforcement resources where they will have the most impact. This data tells us our Strategic Management Plan is on the right track.Yeah, right. So where did the "CompRehensive APproach" go wrong?
Where did it go right, might be the question. In the last four years, federal OSHA has issued three wishy-washy ergonomics guidelines (for the nursing home, grocery and poultry processing industries), done no research, issued
And hundreds of thousands of seriously disabled workers is all they have to show for it.
- Just Another Disposable Worker, December 20, 2004
- Big Crybabies: Anti-Ergo Coalition Upset About OSHA Symposium, January 13, 2004
- If You Try To Re-Build It, They Still Won't Come: Ergonomics Expert Boycott OSHA Symposium, December 21, 2003
- See No Evil: OSHA Declares “Mission Accomplished” on Ergonomics in Nursing Homes, October 16, 2003
- Ergo Barbarians Pillage ANSI Ergonomics Standard, October 16, 2003
- Hear No Evil….., October 15, 2003
- OSHA Ergo Advisory Committee to Meet Sept. 24, September 10, 2003
- Civil War Brews over Ergonomics: OSHA vs. Anti-Ergo Industry, August 6, 2003