Ergonomics guidelines adopted for veterinary practice

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The Executive Board has adopted Ergonomic Guidelines for Veterinary Practice as an AVMA policy statement.

Ergonomics is an area where the Council on Veterinary Service believes the profession should formulate its own guidelines and regulations, so in April 2002 it sent draft recommendations to the board. The board referred them back, finding them too restrictive. The council rewrote them, with input from the AVMA PLIT carrier, and the board approved them.

The new ergonomic guidelines identify risk factors that could lead to musculoskeletal injury—or caution zones—and provide examples of caution zone tasks relevant to veterinary medicine. The caution zones comprise awkward postures; high hand force; highly repetitive motion; heavy, awkward lifting; moderate to high vibration; and repeated impact.

The guidelines will be posted as position statements on the AVMA Web site. For a printed copy of the guidelines, call Nancy Dering, Ext. 6693, at AVMA headquarters.