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Date: April 1, 2003
Contact: Layne Lathram
Phone: (202)693-1999

OSHA to Develop Industry-Specific Ergonomics Guidelines
For Shipyard Industry
Fourth Set of Guidelines to Address Workplace Ergonomics Injuries

WASHINGTON - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will develop guidelines for the shipyard industry to help employers reduce ergonomic-related injuries among workers, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health John L. Henshaw announced today. Representatives from the industry and labor have agreed to work with OSHA to develop draft guidelines that will be available for public comment.

"We are continuing the process of working with stakeholders that want to reduce injuries and illnesses related to ergonomics," said Henshaw. "Several groups representing the shipyard industry, including the American Shipbuilding Association and the Shipbuilders Council of America, and labor groups, including the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO, have expressed their willingness to work with us to develop these guidelines."

Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that in 2001, the injury and illness rate for the shipyard industry was 17.2 compared to an injury and illness rate of 5.7 for all private industry. In 2001, 33.6 % of injuries and illnesses that resulted in days away from work for shipyard workers were musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

"The shipyard industry has already de