As you may know, Henshaw recently resigned. The new administrator
will, of course, need to set priorities for the next term. I strongly recommend that the new administrator continue with a systems approach to NACE recommendations. One of the committee’s recommendations that is innovative and deserves strong consideration is the “early adopters program.”
During the past four years, OSHA has taken a cooperative approach to ergonomics, and I have frequently been asked for my opinion on this approach. Overall, I think that the cooperative approach is a good one and has achieved much success. OSHA has emphasized alliances, partnership, guidelines, outreach/assistance, and e-tools. In doing so, the agency has reached vast numbers of industries, companies, and workers that have been naive about
ergonomics or would never have been reached otherwise.
Many program examples and proven interventions are now easily available
and accessible. An increasing number of employers are discovering
that ergonomics is good for business. On the other hand, without specific standards to address musculoskeletal disorders and neurovascular disorders, there will be a class of employers that will refuse to take ergonomics seriously and will thus leave workers exposed to recognized hazards.