A History of Seating in the Western World by Kim Gurr

“The study of history can sometimes fool us into the belief that societies progressively improve on what has come before, as our body of knowledge increases. It seems we do not march slowly forward to an ultimate solution in this regard, but rather we tend to reinvent and then forget.” Kim Gurr

“A History of Seating in the Western World” discusses seating beginning with ancient Egypt through the modern ergonomics professional. It is a research paper based on the Postgraduate Diploma in Ergonomics Research project performed by Kim Gurr under the supervision of Leon Straker, Physiotherapy, and Phillip Moore, Social Sciences, at the Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia.  Unfortunately, Ms. Gurr died before finalizing her research.

Seating is Important for Ergonomics

Seating is an important issue for contemporary ergonomics. Its frequent use by humans and its association with musculoskeletal disorders are just some of the reasons for its importance.

Ancient History of Seating through the Modern History of Western Seating

To understand the place of seating in modern Western societies, it is useful to understand its history.

This paper presents an overview of the ancient history of seating and the modern history of Western seating with particular emphasis on the design influences over the past 5,000 year period.

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OSHA Record-keeping Requirements

This document explains how to complete OSHA Forms 300, 300-A, and 301 and when to keep a separate confidential list for “privacy concern” cases. It was written by John Loomos, Esq. formerly of ALPA and Eastern Air Lines. A 2018 Department of Labor Trade Release informed employers they must electronically submit information from Form 300, 300-A, and 301 to OSHA. Form 300-A, the Summary, must be posted no later than February 1 each year even if there are no injuries (it must be posted with zeros in the total lines) and provided to employees. The Government representatives authorized to receive records are listed. Any OSHA Survey or Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey must be promptly completed and returned.

OSHA Record-keeping Forms

The following document explaining how to fill out OSHA’s required record-keeping forms — 

  1. Form 300, the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses; 
  2. Form 300-A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses reported on Form 300; and 
  3. Form 301, the Injury and Illness Incident Report, 

— was written by John Loomos, Esq., in 2002.  

April 30, 2018, DOL Trade Release

According to a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Release dated April 30, 2018, notice was given that OSHA had taken action to correct an error made with regard to implementation of the final rule.  

OSHA determined that Section 18 (c) (7) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and relevant OSHA regulations pertaining to State Plans, require all affected employers to submit injury and illness data in the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) Online Portal even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of their own state rule.  Employers must electronically submit information from the Form 300, Form 300A, and Form 301 to OSHA by July 1, 2018.  

The records kept on paper (prior to the 2018 requirement to submit electronically) must be kept for five years.

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Hazards for musculoskeletal disorders can be minimized

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are very common, but few people know what they are until they are suffering with pain. This document contains a list of common MSDs that can occur in people prior to entering the work-force because people use computers now for fun.

MSDs are common in office workers

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) as “injuries and disorders of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and cartilage) and nervous system.  They can affect nearly all tissues, including the nerves and tendon sheaths, and most frequently involve the arms and back.”  

Up to 85 percent of the population will suffer from musculoskeletal pain.  

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are known by many names, such as cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs).

MSDs are also called repetitive motion disorders (RMDs),  overuse syndromes,  repetitive strain injuries, and “office syndrome.”

Office syndrome infographic. Symptoms and causes.
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