The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has formed an alliance with the Ergonomic Assist Systems & Equipment (EASE) Council of MHI. The partnership currently covers the state of Georgia. Together, the two organizations will work to further OSHA workplace safety education initiatives.
Known as the Georgia Warehouse Alliance, the collaboration serves the geographic areas covered by OSHA’s Atlanta-East, Atlanta-West, and Savannah Area Offices. Further, the Georgia Tech Research Institute’s (GTRI) Occupational Safety and Health Division is providing support for the partnership.
Alliance Focuses on Reducing Workers’ Ergonomic Risks
The Georgia Warehouse Alliance promotes ergonomic best practices through programs conducted at warehouse workplaces. By leveraging the EASE Council’s ergonomics expertise, this OSHA workplace safety initiative seeks to reduce musculoskeletal disorders among distribution and fulfillment associates. To help employers protect their employees, the alliance offers information, guidance, and access to training resources. Its intent is to reduce and prevent ergonomic risks related to manual material handling. It specifically targets hard-to-reach and youth workers.
“Warehouse workers are often exposed to ergonomic risks by repeatedly lifting and lowering heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, and working in awkward body postures,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta. “The goal of this alliance is to encourage industry leaders to be proactive in addressing these matters.”
“From the EASE Council’s perspective, this is a fantastic opportunity to share information about safety and best practices in ergonomics,” added Scott Lackey, Vice President of Blickle Wheels & Casters USA. Blickle is an EASE Council member; Lackey currently serves as the organization’s Vice President. “EASE always welcomes any chance to demonstrate and educate facility operators about how workers can be safer on the job.”
Programming Reinforces OSHA Workplace Safety Recommendations
The organizations are already working together to promote training, share information, develop workplace plans, and track results. Every quarter, representatives from OSHA and EASE meet virtually to discuss current topics and initiatives. They also plan ergonomic-specific educational programming.
One of the first educational programs was an immersive ergonomics training day, pictured above. Hosted by the EASE Council, the session took place at Blickle’s North American training and research facility. The first participants were OSHA employees who — although well-versed in safety — previously had limited opportunities to see real-world ergonomic solutions to warehousing challenges.
Additionally, EASE Council members are developing a series of two-minute videos to further educate warehouse owners on key OSHA workplace safety topics. The first, produced ahead of the Southeastern U.S.’s exceptionally hot summer, covered hydration. Upcoming topics include rack safety, protective guarding, and other approaches to reduce musculoskeletal injury risks.
Get More Guidance from the EASE Council
Beyond its partnership with OSHA, the EASE Council offers a broad range of educational resources on its website. These include presentations and seminars, technical papers, checklists, and ergonomic articles. Further, its members are available to consult, answer questions, and offer advice on ergonomics best practices and safe equipment use.