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Portland to host national health care ergonomics conference

For immediate release
Juny 28, 2014
Contact information
Aaron Corvin, Public Information Officer

Focus on wellness, total worker health

Salem, OR — Best practices around ergonomics in the health care field will be highlighted at the fifth National HealthCare Ergonomics Conference in Portland. The event is scheduled for Sept. 8-11, 2014, at the Oregon Convention Center and will highlight a variety of evidence-based topics for health care workers.

On Tuesday, Sept. 9, keynote speaker William Marras, a professor at Ohio State University, will present "Low Back Pain Causation and Prevention in Patient Handling Activities ."

"Patient handling represents one of the greatest occupational threats to back health in the U.S.," said Marras. "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."

On Wednesday, keynote Casey Chosewood, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, Total Worker Health program, will share his presentation "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."

Other conference topics include:

  • The link between patient and worker safety featuring panelists from the Joint Commission, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the American Nurses Association
  • Safe patient handling (equipment, technology, and program development)
  • Designing safe and lean workplaces using ergonomics
  • Effective workplace wellness programs
  • Tours of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) hospital and Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center

The event will also include exhibits showcasing the latest in ergonomics, safe patient handling, and safety and wellness products and services.

Conference registration is $250, which includes session handouts and lunch . Pre-conference workshops and post-conference tours are available. For more information about the conference or to register, call Oregon OSHA's Conference Section, 503-378-3272 or 888-292-5247, then select option one or visit the Conferences webpage.

The conference is a joint effort of the Oregon Coalition for HealthCare Ergonomics, Oregon OSHA, and the American Association for Safe Patient Handling and Movement.


About Oregon OSHA:

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to or follow

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