"What does ergnonomics have to do with railroad worker injuries involving heavy lifting or even repetive stress injuries? Alot, and even the railroads held seminars in 1990 to learn how ergonomics could prevent a wide variety of railroad worker injuries.
The word ergonomics has several definitions, but most experts agree that it involves designing workplace tools or equipment to make them more user-friendly and safe for workers. Most of us are familiar with lawn and garden tools that are made with a handle or grip that is more comfortable, and this is a very basic form of ergonomics. However, the field involves not only changing a grip or a way to hold a tool, but more broadly involves changing work tasks themselves, to prevent repetitive stress injuries before they ever happen. Changing the way work tasks are done is known as an "administrative change." Changing the actual tool or the equipment is known as an "engineering change." These are the two most common ways ergonomics affects railroad workers and workers in any field that repetitively use hand tools or power equipment, that is used nearly every day at work
Although there were discussions about repetitive stress injuries earlier, it wasn't until 1990 that the Association of American railroads decided to hold seminars to explain how ergonomics could help railroads reduce injuries in the workplace. Our law firm has obtained many of the materials which were shared with the nation's railroads, which were a part of these AAR trade organization educational seminars in 1990 and 1991, including "draft" materials. At first, the major railroads were eager to learn about ergonomics--it made sense to learn how to avoid injuries in the workplace because it saves the railroads money in the long run. It was only after rail worker attorneys used the very same materials AGAINST the railroads that the discussion of ergonomics seemed to go "underground." On the one hand, the AAR championed ergonomics, but then when the railroads failed to carry through the prevention methods to various types of rail workers, the same materials are irrefutable proof of railroad negligence in avoiding preventable injuries--that are continuing to occur." (Continued via Virginia Beach Personal Injury Lawyer) [Ergonomics Resources]