Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, February/March 2000.
Copyright 2003. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.
Proposed new Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards would require employers to protect workers from repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and back pain. Musculoskeletal problems have been identified as the most expensive and preventable work-related disorders on the job site. Opposed by some business leaders and praised by labor leaders, the regulations call for identification of ergonomic hazards and correction of any injury-causing conditions. Currently, costs for workers' compensation and medical expenses for ergonomic injuries total $45 to $60 billion annually. It is estimated the proposed standards could save employers $9 billion by preventing injuries for as many as 30,000 workers. The regulations are scheduled to take effect in 2000 following a public hearing and comment period. For updates, visit www.oshabulletin.com.