- 1.8 million U.S. workers experience injuries related to overexertion or repetitive motion each year.
In 1990 OSHA began a process that was supposed to end with the issuing of rules on workplace ergonomics to deal with many various forms of Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD). The issuing of these new rules has been stalled in Congress for 8 years by pro-business republicans and democrats.
So what is "ergonomics" and "CTDs" and since OSHA hasnt issued these rules can we still file grievances over these type of health & safety problems?
Sara Watkins is the steward for the clerical unit at Haliburton Prevaricators Inc. In her job she gets to talk to many of the clerical workers who work in different departments. For the last month or so she noticed that there were more complaints about aches and pains, and there seemed to be people wearing wrist braces. She spoke to the company's health & safety person but she was told that there was no increase in injuries.
In 1982 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) started a new program called the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Under this program, if corporations met certain health and safety guidelines and had employee involvement programs, they could be exempted from random OSHA inspections. This idea was met with skepticism from unions and health and safety activists.
Hosea Hudson was worried about a new solvent his boss had provided him for cleaning parts. It smelled strong and made his eyes water with just a little whiff of it. Hosea and his union steward approached the boss. "Is this stuff safe?" the Steward asked.
Rather than working to create a safe and healthy workplace, many employers would rather blame workers for accidents and injuries. Their tactics include "behavior modification" schemes and pitting workers against workers. Here's what's (very) wrong with that thinking — and what the union should be doing to protect our members ...
Employer-sponsored "safety-games" or "safety contests" may seem benign on the surface, but there's a deadly motive to be seen when we look closer.