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Connecticut Ergonomics: What you need to know

· Ergonomics is the study of the interaction among workers, machines, and the work environment--to fit the job to the worker's needs
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· Health problems associated with ergonomics are the most prevalent sources of work-related injuries and illnesses in almost every industry
· As described further below, Congress has repealed the Occupational Safety & Health Administration's mandatory ergonomics standard and intends to issue voluntary guidelines
According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), health problems associated with ergonomics are the most prevalent sources of lost-time injuries and illnesses in almost every industry. The National Safety Council estimates that the back is the most commonly injured body part, resulting in upwards of $19 billion in medical bills and workers' compensation claims. Most of these back problems are symptoms of low-back injuries caused by heavy lifting or frequent bending. NIOSH has identified other types of disorders that can be caused from ergonomic problems:
· Disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, or spinal discs
· Disorders that are not typically caused by sudden injury or trauma (e.g., a slip and fall) but reflect a more gradual or chronic development (e.g., repetitive stress injuries)
· Disorders diagnosed by a medical history, physical examination, or other medical tests that can range in severity from mild and intermittent to debilitating and chronic
· Disorders with several distinct features (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome) as well as disorders defined primarily by the location of the pain (e.g., low-back pain)
Congress has repealed the Occupational ...

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