APTA, OSHA Form Regional Alliance

New Regional Alliance Will Focus on Midwestern States

ALEXANDRIA, VA, May 30, 2008 – Reducing and preventing injuries among physical therapists and other health care employees is the goal of a regional alliance between the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The alliance will operate in six Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The cooperative effort will focus on the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and the safe handling of patients.

"Over the past few decades, there has been growing concern over the increasing number and severity of musculoskeletal injuries associated with patient handling tasks," explained APTA President R Scott Ward, PT, PhD. "We welcome this opportunity to collaborate on an effort that will utilize evidence-based research on safe patient handling and movement."

"Working together to share best practices, and develop and implement safety and health training for these dedicated employees, is an easy call," said Michael Connors, OSHA's regional director in Chicago. "If we can provide physical therapists and others the ability to anticipate, identify, and eliminate work-related hazards, we will get much closer to eliminating job-related injuries."

Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and manage individuals of all ages, from newborns to elders, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan of care using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists also work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

The American Physical Therapy Association (www.apta.org) is a national organization representing physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice, and research. Consumers can visit www.findapt.us to find a physical therapist in their area, as well as www.moveforwardpt.com for physical therapy news and information.

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