Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Partnership Improves Ergonomics at USPS

Getting a handle on Post Office ergonomics ...

"Through interventions such as the use of container tilters, flexible vacuum hose nozzles, pallet lifters and adjustable work platforms, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) – with the help of OSHA and USPS' unions – over the past 3 years has reduced its musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) recordable rates and its workers' compensation costs.
OSHA, USPS, the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union in 2003 formed a partnership to reduce MSDs among USPS' more than 700,000 employees at its 675 mail processing facilities and more than 38,000 retail sites. To achieve this goal, the partners used an ergonomic risk reduction process (ERRP), which is designed to help identify ergonomic risk factors and eliminate or reduce those risks.

According to OSHA, ERRP sites in the process for the full 3 years experienced a 38 percent reduction in their MSD recordable rates and a 40 percent reduction in their handling and lifting rates. Compared to USPS sites that have not implemented the process, ERRP sites' MSD rates are 35 percent lower and ERRP sites' handling and lifting rates are 18 percent lower.

Since the process was initiated, USPS has saved $1.8 million in workers' compensation costs.

“By bringing management, unions and employees together to cooperatively identify potential hazards and ergonomic health risks, the Postal Service, through this partnership, is transforming its workplace safety and health ergonomic program into a model for both the public and private sector,” OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. said."    (Continued via Occupational Hazards)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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