The module and the eTool are products of the agency's alliance with the Graphic Arts Coalition.
"This is an important addition to a valuable resource that helps educate employees and their employers about avoiding ergonomic-related injuries in the printing industry," said OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. "The flexography module builds on the practical information in the eTool that shows how workers can make simple ergonomic improvements to avoid hazards on the job."
Flexography is a versatile printing process that can be used on a variety of materials of varying sizes, including cereal boxes, bottle labels, potato chip bags, frozen food bags, corrugated boxes, newspapers and grocery bags. While there are significant variations in the process, the new tool simplifies the operation into three broad categories: pre-press, press and post-press.
The eTool focuses on providing employees involved in printing processes with information on preventing musculoskeletal disorders that may result from workplace activities, including lifting heavy items, lifting too often or working in awkward body postures.
The module identifies potential ergonomic hazards and possible solutions to reduce injuries within the flexography printing process. Users can access specific printing tasks, such as plate-making and ink preparation and dispensing, for a description of each task and the potential hazards that have been identified for that job. The user can navigate within each task to become familiar with the hazards and to learn about possible solutions.
The Graphic Arts Coalition includes the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association, Flexographic Technical Association and the Gravure Association of America.
The module can be accessed at http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/products/etools/printing/flexography/flexography_index.html.