OSHA News

OSHA Safe and Sound Week

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
202-693-1999
Department of Labor, United States of America
Mark Your Calendars!
Safe + Sound Week 2018 to be held August 13 – 19

Safe and Sound Week 2018 logo
We are pleased to announce the date for the 2018 Safe + Sound Week, August 13-19.

The second annual Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the value of workplace safety and health programs. These programs can help employers and workers identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving a company’s financial bottom line.

Throughout this week, organizations are encouraged to host events and activities that showcase the core elements of an effective safety and health program, including: management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing workplace hazards.

Visit the Safe + Sound Week webpage for more information and stay tuned for additional updates, resources, and webinars to help prepare you for Safe + Sound Week!

SHOW your commitment by sharing the save the date graphic on social media using #safeandsound2018.

For More Information go to http://www.dol.gov

If you belong to a membership organization, nonprofit organization, or educational institution, there is an opportunity to partner with OSHA on the campaign. Individual businesses can also become campaign supporters. Neither partnering nor supporting the campaign has a financial obligation. Contact safeandsoundcampaign@dol.gov to become a partner or business supporter.

Thank you for receiving updates from the Safe + Sound Campaign.

Organized by:

Safe and Sound Week 2018 organizers
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

Forward Bending & Low Back Pain

Spine, Volume 21, Number 1, pp. 71-78, 1996, “Analysis of Lumbar Spine and Hip Motion During Forward Bending in Subjects With and Without a History of Low Back Pain,” written by Marcia A. Esola, M.S., P.T.; Philip W. McClure, M.S., P.T.; G. Kelley Fitzgerald, M.S., P.T.; and Sorin Siegler, Ph.D., U.S.A.:

In this study, a motion analysis system was used to measure the amount and velocity of lumbar spine and hip motion during forward bending.

The authors begin by citing the following previous findings:

EPIDEMIC OF LOW BACK PAIN

“Disorders of the low back have reached epidemic proportions, (DeRosa, C.P., 1992).”

BILLIONS OF $$$ ANNUALLY, LOST WORK TIME & WORKERS’ COMP CLAIMS

“Epidemiologic studies show that billions of dollars are spent annually on the problem of low back pain, which is one of the most commonly-cited problems for lost work time in industry and Workers’ Compensation claims, (Chase, J.A., 1992; Frymoyer, J.W., 1988; and Pope, M.H., et al., 1991).”

FREQUENT FORWARD BENDING & LOW BACK PAIN

“Researchers have shown an association between frequent forward bending and low back pain, (Berquist-Ullman, M., et al., 1977; Magora, A., 1973; Mellin, G., 1986; Punnett, L, et al., 1991; Svensson H.O., et al., 1989; Videman T., et al., 1989).”

SLOUCHING WHILE SEATED / BENDING AT THE WAIST WHILE STANDING

“Prolonged sitting with the lumbar spine in a flexed position (slouching) and flexed standing postures (bending at the waist) are also associated with an increased risk of low back pain, (Anderson, G.B.J., 1991; Berquist-Ullman, M., et al., 1977; Magora, A., 1972; Punnett, L., et al., 1991; Riihimaki, H., et al., 1989).”

OCCUPATIONS INVOLVING REPETITIVE FORWARD BENDING

“Saunders reports that people with herniated inter-vertebral discs often have a history of an activity or occupation involving repetitive forward bending.”

“Nachemson (1981) has shown that inter-vertebral disc pressure increases 20 percent over that measured in standing when forward bending 20 degrees, and increases 100 percent when bending up to 40 degrees.”

INADEQUATE HIP FLEXIBILITY & EXCESSIVE LUMBAR MOTION

“It has been suggested that inadequate hip flexibility coupled with excessive lumbar motion during forward bending results in low back pain, (Biering-Sorenson, F., 1984; Sahramann, S.A., 1993). . .Sahramann (1993) suggests that excessive lumbar mobility leads to tissue overloading, micro-trauma, and ultimately the development of degenerative joint and disc disease. A person may experience low back pain at any stage of this sequence of events.

FORWARD BENDING = RISK FACTOR FOR LOW BACK PAIN

“Forward bending has been clearly recognized as a risk factor for low back pain. Altered movement patterns of the lumbar spine and hips during forward bending may help explain why forward bending is a risk factor for the development of low back pain.”

HAMSTRING STRETCHING HELPFUL 

In the conclusions, the authors state: “The results provide quantitative data to guide clinical assessment of forward bending motion.  Results also suggest that although people with a history of low back pain have amounts of lumbar spine and hip motion during forward bending similar to those of healthy subjects, the pattern of motion is different.  It may be desirable to teach patients with a history of low back pain to use more hip motion during early forward bending, and hamstring stretching may be helpful for encouraging earlier hip motion.”

OSHA Whistleblower Complaints Contact Office of Communications

Trade Release from OSHA

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Trade Release

Department of Labor, United States of America

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
Washington, D.C.
www.osha.gov

For Immediate Release
July 28, 2017
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA revises its online whistleblower complaint form

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently revised its online whistleblower complaint form to help users file a complaint with the appropriate agency. The form provides workers with another option for submitting retaliation complaints to the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA.

The updated form guides individuals as they file a complaint through the process, providing essential questions at the beginning so they can better understand and exercise their rights under relevant laws. One significant improvement to the system includes pop-up boxes with information about various agencies for individuals who indicate that they have engaged in protected activity that may be addressed by an agency other than OSHA. The new form is available in English and Spanish.

“Workers who report unsafe conditions and wrongdoing have a range of legal protections from retaliation,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “The revised online complaint form works to ensure whistleblowers file their complaints with the appropriate federal agency for prompt action.”

In addition to the online form, workers can file complaints by fax, mail, or hand-delivery; contacting the agency at 800-321-6742; or calling an OSHA regional or area office.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities laws, trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, public transportation, workplace safety and health, and consumer protection laws. Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, is available online at http://www.whistleblowers.gov/.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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Trade Release – OSHA – electronically submit injury and illness data on August 1, 2017 – Form 300

OSHA Electronic Filing August 1, 2017

Trade Release

Department of Labor, United States of America

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
Washington, D.C.
www.osha.gov
For Immediate Release
July 14, 2017
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA launches application to electronically submit injury and illness data on August 1

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will launch on Aug. 1, 2017, the Injury Tracking Application (ITA). The Web-based form allows employers to electronically submit required injury and illness data from their completed 2016 OSHA Form 300A. The application will be accessible from the ITA webpage.
Last month, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking to extend the deadline for submitting 2016 Form 300A to Dec. 1, 2017, to allow affected entities sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system, and to provide the new administration an opportunity to review the new electronic reporting requirements prior to their implementation.
The data submission process involves four steps: (1) Creating an establishment; (2) adding 300A summary data; (3) submitting data to OSHA; and (4) reviewing the confirmation email. The secure website offers three options for data submission. One option will enable users to manually enter data into a web form. Another option will give users the ability to upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time. A third option will allow users of automated recordkeeping systems to transmit data electronically via an application programming interface.
The ITA webpage also includes information on reporting requirements, a list of frequently asked questions and a link to request assistance with completing the form.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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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?

Scan

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.”

Who Do I Write For?

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.

 

 

 

 

 

ERGOSOFT

 

This is my first post.  My name is Melanie Loomos.  I used to be a court 
reporter (stenographer).  I usually did jury trials because I didn't like 
to fight with the other court reporters for the good jobs. 
Good jobs were usually depositions with a lot of parties (lawyers) because 
we got paid per page; and each copy (lawyer) was an extra $2.50 per page.

When I was in trial, I would just sit in whatever chair the bailiff told me 
to sit in; and I wasn't aware of ergonomics.  

I would write sometimes through lunch (for more 
than 8 hours without breaks); and when I got home, I had to run my hands 
under warm water for a long time before I could get started on my 
transcripts because I was in so much pain.  

I didn't know it but I was developing a upper extremity 
cumulative trauma disorder (carpal tunnel syndrome).  Cumulative trauma 
disorders are musculosketal disorders (MSD's) caused by risk factors 
that include repetition and awkward postures (risk factors I could have 
reduced).  

I also didn't know at the time that there had been a checklist created by
ergonomists ten years prior that could have identified the risk factors I
was exposed to, which would have given me the option of minimizing or 
correcting those risk factors (awkward postures and repetition).

Then came OSHA's Ergonomic Standard which became Federal Law in 2000 
under the Clinton Administration.  The Ergonomic Standard was repealed 
as a Federal Law in March 2001 by the Bush Administration.  

The Ergonomics Standard was not a good law.  It mandated that every 
employer adjust every work station to every employee to reduce ergonomic 
risk factors even if they needed to cut the legs off desks.  

That gave me the idea for what I called "the Carpal Tunnel Chair"; 
I submitted it to the USPTO through an attorney to try to get a patent. 
I also submitted a patent on the Ergonomic Seating Cushion.

After review of the boring Ergonomics Standard, I realized people 
could learn what ergonomic risk factors are and how to reduce or 
correct those risk factors themselves if it were put in a non-boring 
format.  Ergosoft provides the sitting computer user with information 
from the boring repealed Ergonomics Standard either every half hour, 
every hour, or every two hours when the individual sets Ergosoft to 
remind them to take their Ergo-break.  Ergo-woman, Ergo-man, or 
Ergo-doc (in cartoon format) appear with an Ergo-tip.

Why am I telling everyone this?  I didn't realize ergonomics was 
a verypolitical issue, and politics is coming in between people 
and ergonomics.  The checklist that ergonomists worked on for almost 40 
years is not being used in the United States; it is being used in 
other countries. You can't even copy it without permission, and you 
need to pay for it on online.  

The checklist which was used to develop the Ergonomics Standard gives 
an average person the ability to identify ergonomic risk
factors and reduce them before cumulative trauma disorders are developed.  

I intend to give Ergosoft away as a free download to help people identify 
and minimize ergonomic risk factors that can lead to Musculoskeletal 
Disorders (MSD's) or Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSD's). 

I am seeking a manufacturer for the OhPillow
and the Ergonomic Seating Cushion.  Today is 2/27/2017.    
 

 
   
      
 
I