Portland to Host National Health Care Ergonomics Conference

The September conference will focus on wellness and total worker health.

The fifth National HealthCare Ergonomics Conference in Portland, Ore., is scheduled for Sept. 8-11, 2014, at the Oregon Convention Center. It will highlight a variety of evidence-based topics for health care workers.

Renowned ergonomics expert William Marras, a professor at Ohio State University and the keynote speaker, will present "Low Back Pain Causation and Prevention in Patient Handling Activities" on Sept. 9.

"Patient handling represents one of the greatest occupational threats to back health in the U.S.," Marras said in a statement. "Through an understanding of the process of disc degeneration, we can associate specific patient handling activities and tasks with an elevated risk of accelerating this process. It turns out that these risks are more than just physical and we are beginning to understand how these risks interact."

Casey Chosewood, director of the NIOSH Total Worker Health program, is a second keynote speaker. He will present "Healthier, Safer, and more Engaged: Unlocking the Potential of Total Worker Health."

"Increasingly, today's workers face challenges to their health and well-being, both on and off the job," said Chosewood. "Addressing them comprehensively is critical if we want to maintain healthier communities and families – and sustain a thriving personal and national economy. A total worker health perspective integrates health protection and health promotion interventions to address these challenges."

The conference will also cover the link between patient and worker safety, safe patient handling, designing safe and lean workplaces using ergonomics, and effective workplace wellness programs.

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