Tony D. McKinnon, Sr.
Ergonomic Risk Reduction Process - ERRP
With more than 740,000 career employees in over 38,000 facilities, the United States Postal Service is one of the largest employers in the world. Recognizing the effect of musculoskeletal disorders on the workforce, the Postal Service, the American Postal Workers Union, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and OSHA have entered into a strategic partnership to identify and control ergonomic risk factors. This historic partnership agreement was signed by APWU President William Burrus, Postmaster General (PMG) Jack Potter, OSHA Secretary John Henshaw, and National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) President John Hegarty, on April 4, 2003. The members of the partnership entered into the agreement in order to work together to reduce the number of injuries and ergonomic related hazards.
The Ergonomic Risk Reduction Process was started in the summer of 2003 following the signing of a MOU between the USPS, APWU, OSHA and the NPMHU. The agreement provides an outline and goals of the process and defines the obligation and responsibilities of the parties.
ERRP is currently designed to be implemented in plants with 45 plants currently participating in the process. The program establishes a subgroup of the Local Safety & Health Committee called a Core Team, which has the responsibility to develop and administer the local program. Each participating facility will have a 'site coordinator' and, for the initial 30-60 days, a certified ergonomist on site.
Training is provided to all craft employees as well as supervisors and managers. Each task in the plant will be evaluated and a job hazard analysis will be conducted to identify ergonomic risk factors. The core team will recommend and implement changes to work practices, work area design and overall work procedures to reduce ergonomic related injuries. The core team will also have the responsibility to document and report fixes (best practices) that have been successful in reducing injuries.