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Jan. 31, 2001

Eleven named to state's Ergonomics Blue Ribbon Panel

TUMWATER - The Department of Labor & Industries today appointed 11 members to serve on the state's new Blue Ribbon Panel on Ergonomics. The panelists include representatives from business, labor, medicine, education and law.

"This is an outstanding group of civic-minded individuals," said L&I Director Gary Moore. "They are highly respected in their fields, and they bring diverse expertise to ergonomics. Washington's employers and workers will benefit from their work."

Adopted last May, the rule requires employers to protect their employees from work-related injuries such as back strain, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. The requirements will be phased in over six years, beginning July 1, 2002.

"We're asking the panel members to review L&I's actions and assess whether the rule requirements are understandable and the proposed enforcement policies are fair and consistent," Moore said. "We will not enforce the rule until determining that effective educational materials are widely available and demonstration projects are successful."

Co-chairs of the ergonomics blue ribbon panel are Claude Golden, attorney and regulatory/legislative analyst, Environmental Affairs Office, The Boeing Company; and Larry Bindner, assistant business manager, Washington and Northern Idaho District Council of Laborers. Other members are:

  • William Andersen, professor, University of Washington Law School
  • Stewart C. Burkhammer, engineer and principal vice president/manager, Environmental, Safety and Health Services, Bechtel Corporation, Frederick, MD
  • Lee Anne Jillings, executive director, Voluntary Protection Plan Participants Association, Falls Church, VA
  • Gwen Malone, ergonomics manager, General Motors Powertrain Group, Pontiac, MI
  • James McCauley, director safety-security (retired), Perdue Farms, Willards, MD
  • James A. Merchant, M.D., Ph.D., dean, University of Iowa School of Public Health
  • Susan Schurman, president, George Meany Center for Labor Studies - National Labor College, Silver Springs, MD
  • Pat Tyson, chair, Board of Directors, National Safety Council, Atlanta, GA
  • David Wegman, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts-Lowell

The panel will report its recommendations to L&I on an ongoing basis over the next year.

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