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OSHA Adds Screen Printing Module to eTool

A new module on OSHA's Web site demonstrates how employees involved in screen printing can make ergonomic adjustments to avoid hazards in the workplace.

The new screen printing module is part of the agency's interactive Ergonomics in the Printing Industry eTool.

"Employers and employees will benefit from this significant addition to an important resource that will help educate them about avoiding ergonomic-related injuries in the printing industry," OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. said.

The module and eTool are products of the agency's alliance with the Graphic Arts Coalition.

Screen printing allows a heavier amount of ink to be set down via a process involving an industrial woven fabric or "screen" that is manually stretched to a fixed tension and attached to a frame. Employees push ink through the screen using a sweeping motion with a squeegee.

The process can be used on a variety of materials of varying sizes, including paper, plastics, pressure-sensitive adhesive material (such as bumper stickers), metal, glass, ceramic, leather and wood. OSHA's new Web-based tool provides information about four stages of the screen-printing process: pre-press, press, post-press and materials handling.

eTool Focuses on Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders

The Ergonomics in the Printing Industry 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.

It also includes modules on lithography and flexography printing styles.

The screen printing module identifies potential ergonomic hazards and possible solutions to reduce injuries within the screen printing process. Users can access specific printing tasks, such as stretching, attaching and cleaning mesh screens, for a description of each task and the potential hazards identified for that job.

The user can navigate within each task to become familiar with the hazards and to learn about possible solutions.

To access the new screen printing module, click here.

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