Chao Names 15 to National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics

The speculation is over: Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao has selected 15 individuals from industry, academia, labor, legal and the medical professions to form OSHA's National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE).

"We are fortunate to have such a wide array of talented and experienced individuals to provide advice on our comprehensive approach to ergonomics," Chao said. "I'm confident that this committee of experts will help us reduce ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses suffered by thousands of workers each year."

The NACE is chartered initially for two years and is expected to meet two to four times annually beginning in 2003. The committee will advise the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health on a number of issues related to OSHA's four-pronged approach to reducing ergonomic-related injuries in the workplace guidelines, research, outreach and assistance and enforcement.

"I believe we've struck the right chord in assembling this group of skilled experts," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "We asked for nominees from varied backgrounds, and that's just what we got." The agenda for the committee's inaugural meeting includes information related to industry- or task-specific guidelines, identifying gaps in existing research on ergonomics in the workplace, research needs and efforts, outreach and assistance methods to communicate the value of ergonomics, and increasing communication among stakeholders.

Members of the committee are:

  • Edward J. Bernacki, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor and director, Occupational Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore. Bernacki is also current president of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
  • Lisa M. Brooks, C.I.E., health and safety program manager for International Paper Co., Memphis. A certified industrial ergonomist, she holds advanced degrees in kinesiology (with an emphasis on human motor control and exercise physiology) and industrial and operations engineering (with an emphasis on ergonomics) from the University of Michigan.
  • Paul A. Fontana, president/CEO, Center for Work Rehabilitation Inc. at the Fontana Center, Lafayette, La. Fontana is a registered occupational therapist with 26 years of experience, the last 16 of which have been specialized in working with business and industry customers on injury prevention and return-to-work programs.
  • Willis J. Goldsmith Esq., partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. Goldsmith chairs the firm's Labor & Employment Practice.
  • Carter J. Kerk, Ph.D., CSP, associate professor in the Industrial Engineering Program at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
  • James L. Koskan, MS, CSP, corporate director of Risk Control, SUPERVALU Inc., Minneapolis, Minn. Koskan is an associate in Loss Control Management and a member of ergonomic advisory committees for both the Food Distributors International and Food Marketing Institute, and a founding member of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company's Loss Prevention Advisory Group.
  • Morton L. Kasdan, M.D., F.A.C.S., clinical professor of Surgery (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery) at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Ky. A leading expert on ergonomic-related injuries, Kasdan has served since 1991 as a member of the American National Standards Institute, Medical Management Subcommittee, Control of Cumulative Trauma Disorders.
  • George P. LaPorte, ergonomics manager for NATLSCO, the loss control division of Kemper Insurance Companies, Lake Zurich, Ill. A certified industrial ergonomist, LaPorte has spent more than 23 years in the areas of ergonomics, safety and industrial engineering and currently supervises Kemper/NATLSCO's Health and Ergonomics technical staff. Barbara McCabe, program manager, Operating Engineers National Hazmat Program, Beaver, W.Va. McCabe holds graduate degrees in occupational health and safety engineering and audiology, and has served as an industrial hygienist since 1991.
  • J. Dan McCausland, director, Worker Safety and Human Resources, American Meat Institute. McCausland served in various functions with Oscar Mayer Food Corp., Madison, Wisc., culminating with his appointment as regional director of Safety & Risk Management for Kraft Foods Inc. He also worked with OSHA in the early 1990s in the development of ergonomics guidelines for the meatpacking industry.
  • Audrey Nelson, Ph.D., RN, center director for the VHA Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, VHA Health Services Research Program on Patient Safety Outcomes and Suncoast Development Research Evaluation Research Center on Safe Patient Transitions. With more than 29 years of nursing experience, Nelson also chaired a national VHA task force on Patient Care Ergonomics, which was implemented nationally.
  • Lida Orta-Anes, Ph.D., associate professor, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico. Orta-Anes is currently developing a minor concentration in ergonomics within the Industrial Hygiene Program and serves as the principal investigator in several proposed ergonomics research projects. Prior to her current position, she served as the senior ergonomist consultant for the United Auto Workers in Detroit. During her tenure in Michigan, she served in policy-setting committees for the MIOSHA Ergonomics Guidelines.
  • Roxanne Rivera, president and CEO, PMR Construction Services Inc., Albuquerque, N.M.
  • W. Corey Thompson, national safety and health specialist, American Postal Workers Union, Washington, D.C. Provides health and safety direction for the APWU's 368,000 members in more than 35,000 USPS facilities. Thompson h served as a union representative on the AFL-CIO's Health and Safety Committee, and as a member of OSHA's Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Richard Wyatt, Ph.D., associate director, Aon Ergonomic Services, Huntsville, Ala. An industrial and systems engineering expert and certified professional ergonomist, Wyatt conducts ergonomic seminars across the country and develops ergonomic plans and programs.
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