Temporary enforcement policy on monorail hoists in construction Employers whose monorail hoists fail to comply with requirements in the Crane and Derricks in Construction Standard will not be issued citations as long as they adhere to other regulations, according to a recent memorandum. The temporary enforcement policy notes stakeholders identified gaps in the standard regarding […]
Information from OSHA
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U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
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New and revised resources available from OSHA on silica final rule
OSHA has released two resources to help small business employers comply with the agency’s final silica rule. The Small Entity Compliance Guide for General Industry and Maritime outlines steps that employers are required to take including: assessing worker exposures; using engineering and work practice controls to keep exposures below a specified safety threshold; offering medical exams to certain highly exposed workers; and training workers. Enforcement of the final rule is scheduled to begin June 23, 2018.
Released earlier in the year, the Small Entity Compliance Guide for Construction describes requirements to protect employees including: using engineering controls specified in the standard or selecting other effective engineering controls to reduce exposures; offering medical exams to workers who will need to wear a respirator under the silica standard for 30 or more days a year; and training workers. The guide was updated to reflect the new enforcement date of Sept. 23, 2017.
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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?
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.”
Prevention is Better than Treatment
Now 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.
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.
After the 40 year fight for ergonomics programs, the passing of OSHA’s Ergonomics Standard in October 2000 and its repeal in March 2001, most people still don’t know what ergonomics is and how it affects us all at work and at home now that we are all on the computer so much.
merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ergonomics – Medical Definition of ergonomics. 1: an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely—called also human engineering, human factors engineering.
.techtarget.com – Ergonomics (from the Greek word ergon meaning work, and nomoi meaning natural laws), is the science of refining the design of products to optimize them for human use. … Ergonomics is sometimes known as human factors engineering.
http://www.osha.gov – Ergonomics: The Study of Work. U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA 3125. 2000 (Revised) …
Anka sitting on a Buttpillow.
Training people how to sit ergonomically should happen concurrently with training people how to use computers. Prior to the smart phone, computers were used mostly for work and were found mostly in the workplace.
Since about 1985, companies were audited and fined if it was discovered they did not report a MSD experienced by one (1) employee to OSHA. In fact, most MSD’s are called Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSD’s). The fines to companies do nothing to help the individuals who are already suffering from a MSD that could have been prevented.
MSD’s may occur before someone enters the workforce because of the change in how computers are used; and waiting until someone enters the workforce to tell them about ergonomics may be setting them up to be disabled before they even begin working as WMSD’s account for between 50 – 80 percent of all disability payments.
Anyone who uses a computer or sits for more than two hours at a time without taking a break can reduce risk factors that lead to musculoskeletal pain and musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s), such as back pain, by making small changes to their posture.