ERIC Number: EJ699967
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan-1
Reference Count: N/A
It Hurts to Ignore Work Injury Roots
Turner, Anne M.
Library Journal, v129 n1 p64 Jan 2004
The author was talking with a friend not long ago about one of the hottest political topics in California these days--the high cost of the workers compensation system. "But libraries don't have to worry about that, do they?" asked her friend. "Aha!" I said. "Another stereotype! In fact, library work is very physical. And she is not just talking about the delivery people who lift crates of books or the shelves. Think about all those repetitive motions to check out books." Library employees are among the 1.8 million workers the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says typically can suffer "musculoskeletal disorders" (MSD), i.e., usually repetitive stress injuries. That was 26.2 percent of all workplace injuries in 2000. The workers compensation system, which is meant to pay workers for the cost of injuries and wages lost, is an increasingly serious financial burden on library budgets across the country. In the private sector, businesspeople treat the system with resentment. They point to abuses and often argue that it and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards imposed to protect workers should be abandoned altogether. This has forced employees, often represented by organized labor, into a defensive posture. It is a poor environment for making changes, and it leaves library directors with the unenviable job of finding a balanced approach to the problem.
Descriptors: Injuries, Compensation (Remuneration), Workers Compensation, Libraries, Librarians, Work Environment
Library Journal, 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010. Tel: 800-588-1030 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.libraryjournal.com.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California