OSHA MOVES AHEAD WITH VOLUNTARY INDUSTRY GUIDELINES

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration here said it will develop industry-specific guidelines to reduce ergonomic-related injuries in retail grocery stores and poultry processing.rank near the top of the list. While the rates in poultry processing aren't as high, workers will suffer from too many upper extremity disorders such as tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome."Henshaw

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration here said it will develop industry-specific guidelines to reduce ergonomic-related injuries in retail grocery stores and poultry processing.

rank near the top of the list. While the rates in poultry processing aren't as high, workers will suffer from too many upper extremity disorders such as tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome."

Henshaw said members of the grocery and poultry processing industries have committed to working with OSHA to develop the guidelines, "and many employers in both industries have already begun taking a proactive stance for their workers."

Draft guidelines for each industry are expected to be ready for public comment later this year.

Tom Zaucha, president and chief executive officer of the National Grocers Association, Arlington, Va., said he welcomed OSHA's efforts to pursue voluntary guidelines "rather than the course of mandatory standards that were rejected and rescinded by Congress last year. NGA has consistently found that voluntary collaborative efforts between government and the private sector are far more workable than costly and burdensome mandates."

Tim Hammonds, president and CEO of Food Marketing Institute here, commended Henshaw and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao "for the new spirit of cooperation they have brought to the leadership of OSHA in the past 18 months. The proposed voluntary guidelines will give our member companies helpful suggestions and the flexibility to develop injury-reduction strategies."

The development of industry-specific guidelines are part of an OSHA plan, disclosed in April, to reduce workplace injuries by focusing on a combination of industry-targeted guidelines, tough enforcement measures, workplace outreach, advanced research and efforts to protect immigrant workers.