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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 IssueMulti-Vote Count
Economics of injuries, return on investment12
Surveillance/incident investigation12
Aging workforce12
Business case for health and safety11
**Leading (predictive) metrics of injury and illness11
Occupational asthma10
Small business issues9
**Safety management systems9
**Biological (genetic) and environmental interactions9
**Prevention by design9
Noise – hearing protection, exposure criteria, control8
Work stress8
Migrant/immigrant laborer issues7
Beryllium exposure6
Fitness/wellness programs6
**R2P models6
Culture of safety5
**Vibration (hand)5
**Best training methods for involving workers in health and safety programs5
Worker training4
**Personal protective equipment4
Engineering controls3
Ergonomic models (computational)3
Alternative work schedules3
Predisposed workers3
Global OSH2
Indoor air quality2
Wireless technology1
Control banding1
Health effect research1
Multiple chemical exposures1
Medications and injury/illness1
**Cross-cutting medical exposures1
“Contracting out” health and safety tasks0
Chemical process safety0
Chemical industry0
Chemical security0
Infrastructure protection0
Emergency response efforts0
Injury diagnosis0
Chloramine exposure in meat packing0
Brominated compounds0
Effects of cold on MSDs0


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

RankManufacturing Research IssueMulti-Vote Count
1.Economics of injuries, return on investment, business case for health and safety23
2.MSD/ergonomics and ergonomic models (computational)19
3.Surveillance/incident investigation12
3.Aging workforce12
4.Leading (predictive) metrics of injury and illness11
5.RF/EMF research10
5.Occupational asthma10
6.Small business issues9
6.Biological (genetic) and environmental interactions9
6.Prevention by design9
6.Safety management systems9