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NORA Symposium 2006 Sector Workshops

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

 Workshop Index 


The Manufacturing Sector Workshop was held at the NORA Symposium on April 20, 2006. A discussion was held surrounding the occupational safety and health issues that were of most interest to the attendees. Approximately 35 persons were in attendance.

Starting with a list of manufacturing research issues assembled from previous Town Hall Meetings and NORA web site submissions, the group further refined and developed a final list of issues. Table 1 provides the final list with an annotation of the new issues proposed by the attendees.

All attendees were then given ten votes that they could cast in a multi-voting process. Votes could be cast in any way the attendees wished, with as many votes cast on a particular item as they desired.

For the Workshop Wrap-up presentation at the NORA Symposium, vote tallies for several closely related issues were combined. In the first case, “economics of injuries/return on investment” and “business case for health and safety,” the two combined issues were both highly ranked, well within the top ten. While combining them did move them to the top of the list, it also made room for another issue to be included on the list. In the second case, “MSD/ergonomics” and “ergonomic models,” combining the two issues did not change the ranking of the issues; it merely increased the vote tally. The reason for combining these two issues was to show that the issue was a broader topic than initially laid out in the list. Several other research issues are also could also be combined, but for Workshop Wrap-up presentation, were not due to their limited individual vote tallies. Several issues had tied vote counts.

The top eleven research issues (eleven are included since four were tied for the final three positions) are given in Table 2.

Table 1. Manufacturing Sector issues discussed in the NORA Symposium Manufacturing Workshop. Most issues were identified at previous NORA Town Hall meetings of from the NORA web site Items identified by “**” were proposed by attendees of the workshop.

Manufacturing Research Issue Multi-Vote Count
MSD/ergonomics 16
Economics of injuries, return on investment 12
Surveillance/incident investigation 12
Aging workforce 12
Business case for health and safety 11
**Leading (predictive) metrics of injury and illness 11
Occupational asthma 10
**RF/EMF 10
Small business issues 9
**Safety management systems 9
**Biological (genetic) and environmental interactions 9
**Prevention by design 9
Noise – hearing protection, exposure criteria, control 8
Work stress 8
Nanotechnology 7
Migrant/immigrant laborer issues 7
Obesity 7
**Presenteeism 7
Beryllium exposure 6
Fitness/wellness programs 6
**R2P models 6
Culture of safety 5
**Vibration (hand) 5
**Best training methods for involving workers in health and safety programs 5
Worker training 4
**Personal protective equipment 4
Engineering controls 3
Ergonomic models (computational) 3
Alternative work schedules 3
Predisposed workers 3
Global OSH 2
Indoor air quality 2
Silica 2
Wireless technology 1
Control banding 1
Health effect research 1
Multiple chemical exposures 1
Medications and injury/illness 1
**Cross-cutting medical exposures 1
“Contracting out” health and safety tasks 0
Chemical process safety 0
Chemical industry 0
Chemical security 0
Infrastructure protection 0
Emergency response efforts 0
Injury diagnosis 0
Chloramine exposure in meat packing 0
Brominated compounds 0
Effects of cold on MSDs 0


Table 2.  Top Eleven Manufacturing Sector issues from the NORA Symposium Manufacturing Workshop.

Rank Manufacturing Research Issue Multi-Vote Count
1. Economics of injuries, return on investment, business case for health and safety 23
2. MSD/ergonomics and ergonomic models (computational) 19
3. Surveillance/incident investigation 12
3. Aging workforce 12
4. Leading (predictive) metrics of injury and illness 11
5. RF/EMF research 10
5. Occupational asthma 10
6. Small business issues 9
6. Biological (genetic) and environmental interactions 9
6. Prevention by design 9
6. Safety management systems 9