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Driving = Risk factor for Low Back Pain

Occupational Medicine, Vol. 48, No. 3., pp. 153-160, 1998, “Musculoskeletal Problems and Driving in Police Officers,” written by D. E. Gyi and J. M. Porter, Vehicle Ergonomics Group, Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, United Kingdom:

In the above-mentioned study, the Occupational Health Department of a rural police force in the United Kingdom had concerns with relation to driving and its link to musculoskeletal disorders.

“There are now an increasing number of researchers whose work implicates prolonged exposure to car driving as a risk factor for low back pain.  However, such epidemiological studies examining the relationship between car driving and back pain or other musculoskeletal troubles are difficult to conduct.  Driving as a task involves prolonged sitting, a fixed posture, and vibration, any of which could directly lead to musculoskeletal trouble.  It is likely that symptoms arise from multiple relationships and influences, (Rey, P., 1979).”

“These police drivers are also deemed to be at particular risk because of the following:

  • They are generally tall males and wear bulky clothing such that seat adjustment may be insufficient to obtain a good posture.
  • They drive fleet cars where the seat and suspension are exposed to excessive wear and tear.
  • They often have to drive in rapid response situations such that they are exposed to fast acceleration and deceleration.
  • Driving is often followed by strenuous physical activity such as lifting and running.
  • They spend most of their eight-hour shift driving or sitting in their vehicle.
  • They often have to take back-seat passengers, such that tall males are unable to take advantage of any seat adjustments that do exist.”

“In a survey of 2,000 U.S. police officers, the number and types of health disorders reported b these officers over a 6-month period were similar to those found in the general public over a 12 month period, (Hurrel, J., 1984).”

The results of the above-mentioned study agree with the findings of other studies that indicate driving a car is a risk factor for the development of low back pain.

WOMEN HAVE MORE MSDs

“Ergonomics” References:

1) Washington Post, March 21, 2001, “President Bush Signs Repealed of Ergonomics Rules, Administration Promises Business-Friendly Workplace Safety Regulations,” written by Mike Allen, Staff Writer:

“President Bush signed his first bill carrying national impact yesterday, repealing workplace safety regulations that he called ‘unduly burdensome and overly broad,’ and sent his administration to work on a business-friendlier substitute that is months or years away.”

President Bush said, “There’s an ergonomics — change in ergonomics regulations that I believe is positive. . .Things are getting done.”

After signing the ergonomics bill, President Bush issued a statement: “The Safety and health of our nation’s workforce is a priority for my administration,” he wrote.

“Together, we will pursue a comprehensive approach to ergonomics that addresses the concerns surrounding the ergonomics rule repealed today.”

“The ergonomics regulations, which were 10 years in the making, would have taken effect in October.”

One study (published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health, 1994;20:417-26, “Job Task and Psychosocial Risk Factors for Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Newspaper Employees,” written by Bruce Bernard, M.D.; Steve Sauter, Ph.D.; Lawrence Fine, M.D.; Martin Petersen, Ph.D.; and Thomas Hales, M.D,) investigating work related musculoskeletal disorders among newspaper employees found neck symptoms were the most frequently reported.   Women tended to have higher rates of tension neck syndrome than men. . .this finding may reflect the concentration of women in jobs involving more risk factors.

“Martha G. Burk, Chair of the National Counsel of Women’s Organizations, an umbrella for 120 groups representing 6 million people, said women suffer many ergonomic injuries from keyboard work and machine cleaning, and called the repeal ‘a slap in the face of women.’”

White House spokesman, Ari Fleisher, said President Bush “believes that we can protect the health and safety of workers without passing a regulation that is terribly burdensome to the economy and to the small businesses on which their growth depends.”

Oh noooo, It’s OSHA

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

The Code of Federal Regulations is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive Departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles, which are divided into chapters, which are further divided into parts covering specific regulatory areas.

The general and permanent rules of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) are published under Title 29 of the Code. Those regulations specifically relating to the Recording and Reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses are found under Part 1904, Section .12, .29, .31, .32, . 33, .35, .36, .40, .41 and .42. These sections of Part 1904 are summarized for your convenience and are intended to assist you and your company in property satisfying OSHA’s strict recording and reporting criteria of these particular sections of 29 CFR 1904.

29 CFR 1904.12

Section .12 relates to the recording criteria for cases involving a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (“MSD”). An employer is required to record any MSD in the OSHA 300 Log under the MSD column.

A recordable MSD can be a disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, or spinal discs that have not been caused by slips, trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents or similar type accidents.

Examples of work-related MSD’s include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome, DeQuervain’s disease, trigger finger, tarsal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, epicondylitis, tendonitis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, carpet layer’s knee, herniated spinal disc, and low back pain.

The above provisions take effect on January 1, 2003. For work-related MSD’s that occurred prior to this date, see recording requirements applicable for any injury or illness under Section 1904.5, Section 1904.6, Section 1904.7 and Section 1904.29.

29 CFR 1904.29

This Section stresses the fact that you must use OSHA Forms 300, 300-A, and 301 or their equivalent, whenever a recordable injury or illness is involved. Form 300 is the Log recording work-related injuries and illnesses. Form 300-A is a Summary of work-related injuries and illness reported on Form 300 and Form 301 is the Injury and Illness Incident Report.

Each recordable injury or illness must be entered on OSHA Forms 300 and 301 within seven calendar days following receipt of information that a recordable injury or illness has occurred.

You must complete a Form 301 Incident Report, or an equivalent form for each recordable injury or illness entered on Form 300.

Note: An equivalent form must be one that records the same information as OSHA Forms 300 and 301, is as readable and understandable, and follows the same instructions, as do the OSHA forms that they replace.

You are allowed to keep records in a computer if the computer is able to produce forms equivalent to the OSHA forms when they are needed. For further information see Section 1904.35 and Section 1904.40.

If a “privacy concern case” is involved you may not enter the employee’s name on Form 300; instead, enter “privacy case” in the space normally used for the employee’s name. However, a separate, convidential list of the case numbers and the employee’s names must be maintained so that these cases can be updated and information concerning them provided to the government upon request. Note, however, MSD’s are not considered to be “privacy concern cases.”

The complete list of injuries and illnesses considered to be “private concern cases” for Section 1904 purposes includes (a) an injury or illness involving an intimate body part or the reproductive system, (b) a mental illness, (c) and HIV infection, Hepatitis, or tuberculosis or (d) needle-stick injuries and cuts from sharp objects that are contaminated with other person’s blood or other potentially infectious material.

29 CFR 1904.31

You must record on Form 300 the work-related illnesses and injuries of employees on your payroll, regardless of whether they are laborers, executives, or paid hourly or are salaried, part time, seasonal or migrant workers. You must also record the work-related injuries of employees not on your payroll if you supervise them on a day-to-day basis. This group of employees includes workers obtained from a temporary employment service or supplied by a contractor who are supervised by you or your staff on a daily basis rather than by the company or service providing you with the employees.

29 CFR 1904.32

At the end of the calendar year, you are required to –
• Review the entries made on Form 300 for completeness and accuracy and, when required, correct any apparent deficiencies.
• Prepare and certify an annual summary of all injuries and illnesses recorded on Form 300. A copy of the annual summary must be conspicuously posted in each establishment in a place or places where notices intended for employees are customarily posted. Once posted, you must insure that the annual summary is neither altered, defaced nor covered by other material. Posting must occur no later than February 1 of the year following the year covered by the Form 300 and remain posted until April 30.
• The company official who certifies the accuracy of the annual summary must state that he or she has examined Form 300 and that he or she believes the information recorded therein is correct and complete to the best of his or her knowledge.
• The company executive so certifying must be an officer of the company or corporation, the highest-ranking company official at the establishment, or a designated supervisor at the establishment.

29 CFR 1904.33

Form 300 (the log), the privacy case list (if one exists), the Annual Summary and Form 301 must be retained for five years following the calendar year covered by these forms.

29 CFR 1904.35

This section requires you to involve your employees and their representatives in the record-keeping system in the following way:
• By instructing each employee how he or she is to report a work-related injury or illness.
• By providing employees and their representatives with the company’s injury and illness record by setting up a system that allows employees to promptly report work-related injuries and illnesses.
• By informing each employee how he or she is to implement this system for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.
• Any employee, former employee or personal representative requesting a copy of Form 301 (Incident Report) describing an injury or illness to that employee or former employee must honor this request no later than the end of the next business day.
29 CFR 1904.36

This section prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee who has reported a work-related fatality, injury or illness. It also protects an employee who files a safety and health complaint. This protection also applies to an employee who files a safety and health complaint, asks for access to its Part 1904 records, or otherwise exercises any other rights afforded by OSHA.
29 CFR 1904.40

This section requires the company or the corporation to provide authorized government representatives with copies of records required by Part 1904 within four business hours following their request. Those government representatives authorized to receive these records are representatives of the Secretary of Labor conducting an investigation under the Act, a representative of the Secretary of Health and Human Services conducting an investigation under section 20(b) of the Act, or a representative of a state agency responsible for administering a State plan approved under Section 18 of the Act.

29 CFR 1904.41

This section requires any employer receiving OSHA’s annual survey form to complete it and send it to either OSHA or a designee of OSHA. This report requires the employer to provide the following information:
• Number of employees,
• Hours worked by each employee and
• Requested information recorded on forms required by Part 1904.

29 CFR 1904.42

Any employer receiving a Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illness Form from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), or a BLS designee, must promptly complete the form and return it to sender following the instructions contained on the survey form.
If you desire more information concerning the above sections please log on to http://www.osha.gov.

– – written by John Loomos, Esq. in 2002

Too Much Press Made Me A Target / I Am Back & Looking for a Manufacturer

The “featured image” is me with me with Anka in the background when we were on Deco Drive.  They wanted to interview her anyway because she had just been in Playboy.

When I got my second patent, the Ergonomic Seating Cushion, which I called the Buttpillow, the name was so shocking that I ended up on TV and the cover of the Miami Herald Business Section, and several other newspapers.

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The reason I invented the Pillow with Cantilever Supports (also called the Buttpillow) and the Ergonomic Seating Cushion (an improvement on the Pillow with Cantilever Supports) was so that anyone with a sitting-related problem —  whether the individual was suffering with hemorrhoids, low back pain, sciatica, herniated spinal disc, prostatitis, pressure sores, vaginal pain or tailbone pain  — could use the cushion without everyone knowing what it was being used for.  If you bring a doughnut pillow to work, people will make fun of you. . .at least that is what happened to me.

It is also for reduction of risk factors that lead to musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs as well as DVTs.

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I found out seven years later that I had gotten several patents my lawyers told me I didn’t get when I received notices from the USPTO that it was time to pay my maintenance fees on the patents I didn’t know I had gotten; or, even worse, that I had lost my patent because I didn’t pay the maintenance fee when I didn’t know I had it in the first place.

I guess the lawyers had to prove they were right:   When I first started trying to patent products, they would say things to me like, “You are just a stupid court reporter; you are not going to be successful.”

I am seeking an open cell foam manufacturer in the United States.  I have until 2023 on this one patent and it has been quoted a lot lately by other inventors to the USPTO, so it is kind of now or the lawyers will be right. . .I will never be successful.

Anka in Inventor’s Digest for Buttpillow (my name is misspelled. . .it should be Loomos):

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STOP THE PAIN

So what exactly are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) also known as cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) also known as repetitive motion disorders (RMDs), also known as overuse syndromes, or repetitive strain injuries?

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According to PEOSH (1997), “These painful and sometimes crippling disorders develop gradually over periods of weeks, months, or years.

“They include the following disorders which may be seen in office workers:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – a compression of the median nerve in the wrist that may be caused by swelling and irritation of tendons and tendon sheaths.

Tendinitis – An inflammation (swelling) or irritation of a tendon. It develops when the tendon is repeatedly tensed from overuse or unaccustomed use of the hand, wrist, arm, or shoulder.

Tenosynovitis – An inflammation (swelling) or irritation of a tendon sheath associated with extreme flexion and extension of the wrist.

Low Back Disorders – These include pulled or strained muscles, ligaments, tendons, or ruptured disks. They may be caused by cumulative effects of faulty body mechanics, poor posture, and/or improper lifting techniques.

Synovitis – An inflammation (swelling) or irritation of a synovial lining (joint lining).

“DeQuervain’s Disease – A type of synovitis that involves the base of the thumb.

Bursitis – An inflammation (swelling) or irritation of the connective tissue surrounding a joint, usually of the shoulder.

Epicondylitis – Elbow pain associated with extreme rotation of the forearm and bending of the wrist. The condition is also called tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – a compression of nerves and blood vessels between the first rib, clavicle (collar bone), and accompanying muscles as they leave the thorax (chest) and enter the shoulder.”

Cervical Radiculopathy – A compression of the nerve roots in the neck.

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment – A compression of the ulnar nerve in the wrist.”

PEOSH (1997) further states: “These disorders can also be aggravated by medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, multiple myeloma, thyroid disorders, amyloid disease and pregnancy.”

NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY

Prevention is Better than Treatment 

Scan 8Now that most people spend a lot of their time doing repetitive motions, such as Gaming, Facebooking,  Twittering, using social media and all other types of interactions with computers,  musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, can happen outside the workplace.

You do not want to end up in pain for the rest of your life, so remember to take a break at least every hour from typing activities.

If you must spend your day sitting, as some people do, such as stenographers, remember to stand up at least once every hour.  While sitting, try to maintain your lumbar curve.  In other words, don’t slouch.

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Twin stenographers sitting on Buttpillows, Patented Ergonomic Seating Cushions.

Sitting and the Prostate

Standing frequently throughout the day is especially important for men.  There is new research that links prolonged sitting to swelling of the prostate or prostatitis, and there is also research that links prostatitis to prostate cancer.  Prostatitis can affect the sexual health of men usually beginning at about the age of 50; so all you men out there, stand up at least once every hour.

 

A Theme I love!!!

I finally found a theme I love as recommended by Word Press!!!  Be on the look out for  Ergo-Tips TM soon.

I noticed more discussion about ergonomics since March 2017 than I have seen since 2002 .  Ergonomics was a hot topic in 1997, then again in 2000 when it became a Federal Regulation to have an ergonomic work station for every employee,  then again when OSHA’s Ergonomic Standard was repealed in March 2001 by President Bush.

Ergonomics is important now so that you do not become disabled when you get older.  For employees, don’t hesitate to talk to your employer about your ergonomic positioning or your work station.

For employers, even though President Bush repealed OSHA’s ergonomic standard, OSHA was auditing and fining companies under the General Duty Clause for not reporting MSD’s since at least 1997; it may have been prior to 1997.  Several companies quit manufacturing products in the United States at that time due to the fines incurred by non-reporting of MSD’s.

Remember to report any suspected musculoskeletal disorders to OSHA by filling out OSHA’s Form 300A on-line as it is the law under the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act.  If you fail to report a MSD, you still can be audited and fined by OSHA.