Insurance Companies React To NAS Ergonomics Study

Feb. 5, 2001
The Alliance of American Insurers said it plans "to\r\nthoroughly review the recent National Academy of Sciences study on\r\nmusculoskeletal disorders and the workplace."

The Alliance of American Insurers (AAI) said it plans "to thoroughly review the recent National Academy of Sciences study on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and the workplace."

The report, concluded that work-related exposures directly contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders.

Based on a preliminary assessment AAI said that in terms of causality, the study raises more questions that it answers.

"The findings don''t suggest one simple prescriptive remedy," said an AAI statement. "In fact, they support the employer and insurer community''s view that there is no magic bullet. This very complex problem is not given to a one-size-fits-all solution."

The NAS report said interventions that involve a commitment by both employer and employee have contributed to successful outcomes. But because the findings were based on tailored intervention programs, "it is neither feasible nor desirable to propose a generic solution," the report said.

AAI noted that it believes the best approach to fighting MSDs is one that promotes "voluntary individualized solutions, rather than an OSHA-mandated, command and control approach that will not encourage the high level of employer and employee commitment specifically cited by the study as a key factor for success."

The alliance also said that it agrees with NAS''s conclusion that more study is needed to help employers to design effective ergonomic programs to improve workplace safety.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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