Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NIOSH Publication Highlights Solutions to Prevent Manual Material Handling Injuries for Retail Workers

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NIOSH has released a new publication to highlight how retail workers can reduce strains and sprains when moving materials from the delivery truck to the sales floor. Designed for retailers and safety experts, Ergonomic Solutions for Retailers uses illustrations to show how and where retail employees would use mechanical assist devices to lift, push or pull heavy materials— tasks that can sometimes lead to musculoskeletal injuries.

According to the agency, manual material handling injuries account for 60% of the injuries and lost work in retail. While this publication focuses on the grocery sector, it may be adapted to other working situations including those work in warehouse and storage facilities. The technology presented may also support a retailer’s growing internet sales that depend on moving large quantities of merchandise often with fewer employees.

Click here for more information.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NIOSH Seeks Feedback on Proposed Total Worker Health Agenda

NIOSH is seeking stakeholder comments on its proposed National Total Worker Health agenda through Dec. 22, 2015. The proposal lists four strategic goals that intend to help advance the integration of workplace health protection and promotion; support overall vitality of the workforce; and foster national economic prosperity. The goals are:
  1. Advance and conduct etiologic, surveillance and intervention research that builds the evidence base for effectively integrating workplace health protection and health promotion activities.
  2. Increase the awareness and adoption of these types of activities.
  3. Create guidance for policies that promote integration of OSH protection and health promotion activities.
  4. Support the development, growth and maintenance of integrated OSH protection and health promotion activities in the workplace. 
NIOSH reports that it is "specifically interested to know whether the proposed agenda reflects the goals of stakeholders' organizations and whether it has any missing components." To view the agenda or comment, visit and enter "CDC-2014-0014" in the search field.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ASSE Accepting Nominations for 2015 Triangle Award for Heroic Dedication

ASSE is accepting nominations for its third annual Triangle Award for heroic dedication to the OSH profession. The Triangle Award is given in honor of the 146 garment workers who died in the 1911 New York City Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The Award is presented to an OSH professional who, in the course of going beyond his/her normal duties, either prevents or minimizes physical injury, loss of life or substantial property damage in a workplace at which s/he has complete or shared responsibility for the safety of the people and/or security of the property.

Nominations will be accepted through April 1, 2015, and the award will be presented on May 6, 2015, in Washington, DC, during ASSE's NAOSH Week.

Monday, November 17, 2014

DOL Renews Workplace Rights Agreements With Latin American Countries

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently renewed partnership agreements with ambassadors representing Mexico, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The agreements entail DOL's enforcement agencies (i.e., OSHA, Wage and Hour Division) continuing to collaborate with the embassies and consulates to provide information about U.S. labor laws that regulate safety, health, wages and working hours to workers from these countries. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez says that the partnerships represent the "shared commitment to making sure that workers from these nations are able to exercise their rights."

DOL reports that these partnerships help the department enforce U.S. labor laws more effectively, particularly in high-risk and low-wage workplaces where violations might occur more frequently. To learn more about the partnerships, visit DOL's website.

(L to R): Ambassador of Mexico Eduardo Medina Mora; Ambassador of the Dominican Republic Aníbal de Castro; Wage and Hour Division Deputy Administrator Laura Fortman; Ambassador of Nicaragua Francisco Campbell; Ambassador of El Salvador Francisco Altschul; U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez; Ambassador of Costa Rica Román Macaya Hayes; Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Carol Pier; and OSHA Administrator David Michaels.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tips for Preventing Carpal Tunnel From Humantech

Musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome are a leading cause of missed workdays. According to BLS, workers who suffered from fractures, multiple injuries with fractures or carpal tunnel syndrome in 2012 took a median of 30 days or more to recuperate before returning to work.

Humantech's Blake McGowan, CPE, explains the signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and shares tips on how to prevent it in the video below.

Here's a quick checklist of his key tips:
☑︎Choose a computer keyboard that is as thin as possible. A thin keyboard helps keep the wrist straight when keying.
☑︎Turn down the legs of the keyboard to keep it flat on the work surface. This minimizes extended wrists while typing.
☑︎Select a keyboard that does not have the numeric key pad, if you don’t need it. Eliminating the key pad alleviates awkward or deviated postures of the right hand.
☑︎Use a mouse that requires your wrist or hand to perform the movement with your thumb pointing up. If the thumb is in a horizontal position, the wrist is likely extended and pressure in the carpal tunnel will increase.