Ergonomic Principles in the Dental Setting: Delivery System Design (Part 1)

The Ergonomic Standard mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommended that the most efficient and effective way to remedy “ergonomic hazards” causing musculoskeletal (MSK) strain should be through engineering improvements in the workstation.1 Although Congress withdrew the OSHA ergonomic regulations before they were to be implemented, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao has promised to “pursue a comprehensive approach to ergonomics, which may include new rulemaking.” Making employers more accountable for the physical environment in which they and their employees practice in turn encourages manufacturers to develop more ergonomically designed delivery systems. Led by the American Dental Association’s “Ergonomic Summit”2 endorsement in August of 2000, dental manufacturers began to look more intently at ways to improve the ergonomics of the equipment and instruments they provide to the profession.
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