March 2000 AAOS Report

AAOS urges OSHA to postpone standard on ergonomics

The AAOS is urging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to postpone the proposed ergonomics program standard because the available scientific evidence is not strong enough to justify the proposal. Academy President Robert D. D'Ambrosia, MD said in a letter commenting on OSHA's proposed ergonomics standards that the exact causal relationship of workplace activity to musculoskeletal injury is not clear in the scientific literature . . . "Additional research and analysis is needed to validate the more precise relationship of specific workplace activities to specific musculoskeletal disorders." Dr. D'Ambrosia said. "AAOS believes ergonomics standards must address factors both at work and outside of work, and individual variables that can contribute to musculoskeletal injury." AAOS also is concerned that the rule confuses aches and pains with musculoskeletal disorders and that the diagnosis of many common musculoskeletal disorders can be based on subjective "feelings" and observations.

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