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OSHAs' Industry-Specific Ergonomic Guidelines Recommend The Use Of Ergonomic Mats

In 2000 OSHA unveiled its Ergonomic Standard. The response from the business sector was so negative that President Bush vetoed the standard. Now OSHA is in the process of developing industry-specific and task-specific guidelines to reduce and prevent workplace ergonomic injuries. These voluntary guidelines are tools to assist employers in recognizing and controlling hazards with the use of Ergonomic Mats. Employers in other industries for which guidelines have not been developed may find useful information in these guidelines for implementing their own ergonomic programs.

Poultry Processing Guideline

OSHA issued an ergonomic guideline for the poultry processing industry on September 2, 2004. Under Workstations - Floor Design Recommendations, OSHA suggests, non-slip ergonomic anti-fatigue mats that can be easily removed for cleaning may be added to solid floors for comfort.

Retail Grocery Guideline

OSHA issued an ergonomic guideline for the retail grocery industry on May 28, 2004. In this guideline, OSHA points out many places where ergonomic mats should be used such as cashiers, deli, stocking, etc.and, in addition, under Recommended Working Postures - feet and Legs, OHSA specifies that Good quality ergonomic mats reduce back and leg fatigue.

Nursing Home Guideline

OSHA issued an ergonomic guideline for the nursing home industry on March 13, 2003. Most of the suggestions in this guideline pertain to lifting and transferring patients, but the brief does address many other jobs within a nursing home environment. The guideline specifies kitchen work, where an employee stands for more than two hours per day, should be done while using shock absorbing insoles or standing on anti-fatigue ergonomic mats.

Meat Processing Plant Guideline

OSHA issued an ergonomic guideline for the meat processing industry in 1993. This is more generic than the more recent guidelines and simply suggests, workstations should be designed to accommodate the persons who actually work on a given job.

For copies of all OSHA industry specific Ergonomic Guidelines, please go to www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/guidelines.html

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