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OSHA To Rely On Voluntary Ergonomics Guidelines

The Bush administrations decision to use "targeted guidelines" to address ergonomic injuries is in keeping with the textile industrys long-standing position that musculoskeletal injuries can be addressed with voluntary programs. Since 1993 textile and apparel companies have been making widespread use of a "Management Guide: Ergonomics in the Textile and Apparel Industries," which deals with a number of jobs and how injuries can be prevented.Occupational Safety and Health Administrator John Henshaw says his agency will begin immediately to develop industry and task-specific guidelines to reduce and prevent ergonomic injuries. He expects to begin releasing guidelines ready for application in selected industries this year. However, in view of the textile industrys history of voluntarily addressing ergonomics issues it is not likely that textiles will be among the early targets.