Nursing Homes to Receive First of Industry-Specific Ergonomics\r\nGuidelines

Industry representatives and OSHA hope to have draft ready for public comment this year.

The first industry-specific guidelines to reduce ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses will be developed for nursing homes, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao announced today. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its comprehensive ergonomics plan April 5.

"We are serious about reducing injury and illness rates related to ergonomics as quickly as possible," Chao said. "We want to work with the nursing home profession and workers to develop guidelines to reduce the level of injuries and illnesses in this industry."

Representatives from the industry have agreed to work with OSHA to develop a draft for public comment. The draft is expected to be ready this year and will be published in the Federal Register for review before becoming final.

"Nursing home workers suffer back injuries and other ergonomics-related problems. Our goal is to prevent these types of injuries and illnesses from occurring," OSHA Administrator John Henshaw said. "I look forward to coordinating with the profession and workers to develop this first set of industry-specific guidelines to prevent ergonomics hazards. With the nursing shortage and other issues confronting this industry, it makes sound business sense for stakeholders involved to be the first to tackle ergonomics problems in their industry."

edited by Todd Nighswonger ([email protected])

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