The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Ergonomics (UWM) has joined forces with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop training and educational programs for health and safety professionals in an effort to combat ergonomic hazards.

UWM and OSHA signed the alliance to provide business, industry and, in particular, the healthcare industry with resources that will focus on reducing and preventing ergonomic injuries. Special emphasis will be on preventing injuries to healthcare workers related to patient handling and movement.

OSHA health and safety alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao’s ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of employees through cooperative partnerships with trade associations, labor organizations, employers and government agencies. OSHA has nearly 500 alliances throughout the nation.

"Injuries due to ergonomic hazards can be limited with proper attention to safe ergonomic practices including safe patient handling and movement practices,” said OSHA area director George Yoksas. “Joining with an organization with the stature and reputation of UWM to train students, employees and employers to combat these injuries supports the goal of employee safety.”

UWM will work with OSHA to develop training and education programs on ergonomic issues. The alliance calls for the two agencies to share information regarding best practices or effective approaches and then publicize results through developed materials, training programs, workshops, seminars or lectures. Both organizations will also speak, exhibit and appear at conferences, meetings and other events. They also will disseminate information on ergonomic hazards and safe practices for moving and handling patients.