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Officials fight over workplace injury rule.

July 29th, 2010 4:39pm

By Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica

As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the White House are trying to minimize their differences, a brewing battle at OSHA over a workplace injury reporting rule illustrates how tough that could become, given the administration’s pro-labor leanings.

While bureaucratic clashes over subtle rule changes like this one are usually waged outside the public’s view, they can have big ramifications for businesses and workers.

At issue is a regulation that would force employers to identify when a workplace-related injury or illness is considered a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), a term broadly used to describe ailments caused by repetitive stress, like carpal tunnel syndrome or strains from frequent heavy lifting.

Figures gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that MSD-related problems accounted for nearly a third of the 1.1 million workplace injuries and illnesses in the private sector that led to days off w ...

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Can worker hope to be safe at last?

July 29th, 2010 4:37pm

Can Workers Hope to Be Safe at Last?

Tuesday 02 March 2010

by: Dick Meister, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

It’s called musculoskeletal disorder or MSD, the most common of the serious injuries suffered by US workers. But because corporate employers fear that greater public awareness would force them to spend more on job safety, MSD has remained one of the least understood of injuries.

The latest government figures show that more than 60 percent of the million or more on-the-job injuries reported annually are MSD-related. Some of the victims are permanently disabled, and many more have to take time off from work while their injuries heal.

The victims include computer operators, factory and construction workers, meat and poultry processors, hospital and restaurant employees, ...

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Five steps to risk assesment.

July 29th, 2010 4:35pm

A risk assessment is an important step in protecting your workers and your business, as well as complying with the law. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace – the ones with the potential to cause real harm. In many instances, straightforward measures can readily control risks, for example ensuring spillages are cleaned up promptly so people do not slip, or cupboard drawers are kept closed to ensure people do not trip. For most, that means simple, cheap and effective measures to ensure your most valuable asset – your workforce – is protected.

The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but you are required to protect people as far as ‘reasonably practicable’. This guide tells you how to achieve that with a minimum of fuss. This is not the only way to do a risk assessment, there are other methods that work well, particularly for more complex risks and circumstances. However, we believe this method is the m ...

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Understanding ergonomics at work and the benefits that go along with it.

July 29th, 2010 4:34pm

Reduce accidents and ill health and increase productivity by fitting the task to the worker.

You may have heard of the term ‘ergonomics’. This is sometimes referred to as ‘human factors’. Not everyone really understands what ergonomics is, what it does, or how it affects people. This leaflet will help to answer these questions and to explain how understanding ergonomics can improve health and safety in your workplace.

It is aimed at anyone who has a duty to maintain and improve health and safety and who wants to gain insight into ergonomics. It gives some examples of ergonomics problems and simple, effective advice on what can be done to solve them.

What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is a science concerned with the ‘fit’ between people and their work. It puts people first, taking account of their capabilities and limitations. Ergonomics aims to make sure that tasks, equipment, information ...

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The Ergo Desktop – low cost sit to stand workstation solution

July 29th, 2010 4:32pm

The Ergo Desktop is the new and low cost sit to stand ergonomic solution!

All adjustable desk workstations are constructed of high grade aluminum framing and HPL laminate to give you years of beauty and reliable service. These ergonomic products hold your monitor or laptop, keyboard and mouse with additional space for other office related products. The height adjustable desk can be raised and lowered with the assistance of gas nitrogen springs. Unlike the expensive sit to stand desk on the market, these ergonomic computer desk have the ability to adjust the monitor’s nitrogen spring separately from the keyboard and mouse, allowing for the maximum ergonomic office setting for each individual user. These springs allow for a smooth transition from sitting to standing all without the unsightly electric cords of oth ...

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Under Obama, Labor Agencies Building up Budgets and Enforcement

July 29th, 2010 4:29pm

Some in the manufacturing community worry that an attempt to issue an OSHA ergonomics standard is on the way. By Josh Cable @ Industry Week

Labor historians agree: Over the past few decades, a change in political party at the White House usually signals a dramatic change in the federal government’s approach to labor policy.

“Absolutely. This is not a close call,” explains Robert Trumble, professor of management and director of the Virginia Labor Studies Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. “And the [U.S.] Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO see it the same way also.”

Washington, D.C.-based journalist Phil Dine, author of “State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence,” puts it this way: When a Republican administration is in power, unions are “ ...

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Connecting Health and Wellness Boosts Bottom Line

July 29th, 2010 3:52pm

DES MOINES, Iowa, Apr 06, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — As American workers rebuild they are focused on spending less and saving more according to recent research from the Principal Financial Well-Being Index(SM). Now there is a way for employers to help by giving workers a chance to spend less on health care while encouraging them to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The Principal Value-Based Health Benefit(SM)is a new health program that integrates health and wellness benefits. The new approach gives financial incentives to employees who choose to engage in preventive medical care and healthy behaviors.

“Healthy employees have fewer absences, are more productive while at work and are less likely to get injured. It’s simple. A healthy work force saves money and contributes to a healthier bottom line,” said Jerry Ripperger, director of business development for the Principal Financial Group(R). “Our new program gives employees concrete, fin ...

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OSHA Outlines The Final Ruling for Recording Work-Related Injuries

July 29th, 2010 3:48pm

OSHA has finally suggested the Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements Rule thus ending the time for public comment.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration intends to change the per-existing principles to make sure employers that have 10 or more employees would need to keep a record of some work-related musculature disorders in their OSHA 300 Log.

The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy was sought by the small business community to voice concern over the potential small business costs as well as the complexity of the proposed rule. The SBA Office of Advocacy filed comments that signify the opinions of small businesses along with OSHA.

The OSHA 300 Log is a record of work-related sicknesses and injuries that most employers are duty-bound to keep. Musculature Disorder is defined by OSHA as disarrays of muscles, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, joints and spinal discs. However it does not consist ...

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Baby’s First Cubicle: The Most Depressing Toy Ever?

July 29th, 2010 3:39pm

Baby CubicalIt’s all about expectation management, you see. If you make your kid think he can be president, he will grow up disappointed. Tell him he’s headed for a life as an office drone and at least he’ll be mentally prepared.

For a mere $2,500, daddy’s little office drone gets all of this:

Furniture features:

* Flat desk area
* Left and Right built-in mouse pads
* Bench seat that fits two children and offers storage inside for supplies
* Two locking cabinet doors
* Computer wiring stores safely inside ventilated cabinet.
* Locking castors keep unit from rolling during use.

Computer equipment features:

* Think Centre PC
* Internal DVD-ROM
* 1GB RAM (minimum)
* 1 ...

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Businesses reward employees for healthy changes.

July 29th, 2010 3:37pm

By STEVE LOHR – New York Times Published: March 26, 2010

FOR all the debate lately, one basic fact about America’s health care crisis is rarely mentioned. Namely, the one thing that could really reform health care is you, collectively speaking: People living healthier lives.

The statistical evidence has been clear for years, but it bears repeating. Studies show that 50 percent to 70 percent of the nation’s health care costs are preventable. Much of that expense goes to treat a few chronic conditions that are closely linked to behavior, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Read More...

 

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Knowing what causes your back pain can help you solve it.

July 29th, 2010 3:34pm

Back pain can make it hard to do your job. Understanding what causes workplace back pain can help you avoid it.
Whether it’s dull and annoying or screaming for attention, back pain can make it hard to concentrate on your job.

Many occupations — such as nursing, construction and factory work — may place significant demands on your back. Even routine office work can worsen back pain if you fall into risky habits.
But you often can avoid back pain and injuries by understanding what causes them and focusing on prevention.
What causes back injuries?
Doctors aren’t sure about all of the causes of back pain. In fact, most back problems are probably the result of a combination of factors. Some factors, such as family history, aren’t preventable. You can control other factors, such as weight, fitness and flexibility, by changing your lifestyle. Still other factors are work related, and you ...

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Sitting takes toll on body, scientists find

July 29th, 2010 3:31pm - Posted By: Ergo Web - Peter Budnick

The bodies of even the most physically active take a physiological hit from sitting for hours, say scientists who warn about health effects of an increasingly sedentary society and prescribe some standing advice. Canadian researchers are part of a pioneer field of study looking at the effects that sitting has on the body.

At a lab in Ottawa, scientists are observing children as they watch TV, monitoring their pressure and oxygen consumption. The scientists want to see how sedentary time, such as sitting all day at school and then channel surfing at night, harms children’s health.

After two to seven hours of uninterrupted sitting, there is evidence “that is enough to increase [subjects'] blood sugar, to decrease their good cholesterol and to have a real impact on their health,” said Travis Saunders, a researcher in exercise physiology at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa. Conventionally, sitting and ...

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