516 Harwell Street, Burkburnett, Texas 763534
Why did OSHA
Issue an Ergonomics Program Standard?
  Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)
Preventing Injuries to Pets and Commercial Pet-Grooming Practitioners.

OSHA has issued an ergonomics standard to reduce  (MSDs) developed by workers whose jobs involve repetitive motions, force, awkward postures, contact stress and vibration. The principle behind ergonomics is that by fitting the job to the worker through adjusting a workstation, rotating between jobs or using mechanical assists, MSDs can be reduced and ultimately eliminated.

Who is covered by the standard?

All general industry employers are required to abide by the rule. The standard does not apply to employers whose primary operations are covered by OSHA's construction, maritime or agricultural standards, or employers who operate a railroad.

What does the rule require employers to do?

The rule requires employers to inform workers about common MSDs, MSD signs and symptoms and the importance of early reporting. When a worker reports signs or symptoms of an MSD, the employer must determine whether the injury meets the definition of an MSD incident -- a work-related MSD that requires medical treatment beyond first aid, assignment to a light duty job or temporary removal from work to recover, or work-related MSD signs or MSD symptoms that last for seven or more consecutive days.

If it is an MSD incident, the employer must check the job, using a Basic Screening Tool to determine whether the job exposes the worker to risk factors that could trigger MSD problems. If the risk factors on the job meet the levels of exposure in the Basic Screening Tool, then the job will have met the standard's Action Trigger.

What happens when the worker's job meets the standard's Action Trigger?

If the job meets the Action Trigger, the employer must implement the following program elements:

Management Leadership and Employee Participation: The employer must set up an MSD reporting and response system and an ergonomics program and provide supervisors with the responsibility and resources to run the program. The employer must also assure that policies encourage and do not discourage employee participation in the program, or the reporting of MSDs, MSD signs and symptoms, and MSD hazards. Employees and their representatives must have ways to report MSDs, MSD signs and symptoms and MSD hazards in the workplace, and receive prompt responses to those reports. Employees must also be given the opportunity to participate in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the ergonomics program.

Job Hazard Analysis and Control: If a job meets the Action Trigger, the employer must conduct a job hazard analysis to determine whether MSD hazards exist in the job. If hazards are found, the employer must implement control measures to reduce the hazards. Employees must be involved in the identification and control of hazards.

Training: The employer must provide training to employees in jobs that meet the Action Trigger, their supervisors or team leaders and other employees involved in setting up and managing your ergonomics program.

MSD Management: Employees must be provided, at no cost, with prompt access to a Health Care Professional (HCP), evaluation and follow-up of an MSD incident, and any temporary work restrictions that the employer or the HCP determine to be necessary. Temporary work restrictions include limitations on the work activities of the employee in his or her current job, transfer of the employee to a temporary alternative duty job, or temporary removal from work.

Work Restriction Protection: Employers must provide Work Restriction Protection (WRP) to employees who receive temporary work restrictions. This means maintaining 100% of earnings and full benefits for employees who receive limitations on the work activities in their current job or transfer to a temporary alternative duty job, and 90% of earnings and full benefits to employees who are removed from work. WRP is good for 90 days, until the employee is able to safely return to the job, or until an HCP determines that the employee is too disabled to ever return to the job, whichever comes first.

Second Opinion: The standard also contains a process permitting the employee to use his or her own HCP as well as the employer's HCP to determine whether work restrictions are required. A third HCP may be chosen by the employee and the employer if the first two disagree.

Program Evaluation: The employer must evaluate the ergonomics program to make sure it is effective. The employer must ask employees what they think of it, check to see if hazards are being addressed, and make any necessary changes.

Recordkeeping: Employers with 11 or more employees, including part-time employees, must keep written or electronic records of employee reports of MSDs, MSD signs and symptoms and MSD hazards, responses to such reports, job hazard analyses, hazard control measures, ergonomics program evaluations, and records of work restrictions and the HCP's written opinions. Employees and their representatives must be provided access to these records.

Dates: Employers must begin to distribute information, and receive and respond to employee reports by October 15, 2001.

Employers must implement permanent controls by November 14, 2004 or two years following determination that a job meets the Action Trigger, which ever comes later. Interim controls must be implemented within 90 days after the employer determines that the job meets the Action Trigger. Other obligations are triggered by the employer's determination that the job has met the Action Trigger.

Flexibility Features of the Ergonomics Program Standard

Employers whose workers have experienced a few isolated MSDs may be able to use the "Quick Fix" option to reduce hazards and avoid implementing many parts of the program. Employers who already have ergonomics programs may be able to "grandfather" existing programs. The employer may discontinue parts of the program under certain conditions.

The full OSHA Ergonomics Standard can be found on the internet at

Some grooming procedures and techniques learned from some great grooming show handlers and show dog breeders are not always practical for commercially groomed pets and pet grooming practitioners. Some of these show ring grooming techniques adopted and preformed by many commercial pet groomers may and can cause musculoskeletal injuries and disorders.  Daily commercial pet grooming work schedules often subject pet groomers and the household pet to muscle and skeletal stresses and injuries that can cause the development of: 
(Musculoskeletal Disorders - MSD)
. We understand pet owners want their pets to look their very best, but pet owner's also need an understanding that such techniques if applied to pet dogs with health and physical conditions could present abuse and legal questions. Humane treatment laws in many States prevent "overworking" of an animal. Forcing the family pet to submit to such stressful techniques just to accomplish the perfect,  show ring or contest award winning groom is considered  "over working" the dog @ Yuppie Puppy Studios. Such grooming techniques should be reserved for show ring dogs in good  health and physically conditioned to such grooming requirements and techniques.

Knowing what is a practical groom requires training and sometimes retraining of some professional grooming practitioners who's opinions about pet grooming results may be locked into breed and show image standards.  
Unfortunately there are some pet grooming practitioners and pet grooming businesses as well as pet grooming schools that insist on using show dog grooming techniques. Such stressful techniques have been shown to shortened careers of some commercial pet grooming practitioners.

Yuppie Puppy Studios - GROOMOLOGY®  pet grooming Groomonic studies and practices have always placed the dogs health, safety and comfort as well as the dog's finished groom in a balance with pet and  employees MDS health. Pet owners groom preferences has to take into consideration their pets age and general health condition. Professional pet grooming decisions by knowledgeable practitioners has to take precedence over a pets owners preferences. Groomed appearance vs. safe and practical groom techniques has to include humane treatment, safe handling. This professionalism has made our pet grooming practice a safe experience not only for a pet owners dog but also a healthy place of employment. Our Studio employees and apprenticing students are trained and educated by GROOMOLOGIST® Pam and Rick Neely.

We provide pet grooming through an educated evaluation of all grooming tasks, procedures and techniques as to their potential to cause MSID problems for our employees and your pet. Employees are trained to perform grooming tasks in a less hazardous way for themselves and the pet to prevent the potential of MSID . The pet can also suffer from MSID caused by grooming tasks, procedures and practices performed that may cause  injury or affect a dogs unknown but existing musculoskeletal condition. Forcing any dog to submit to a grooming procedure with the use of restraints that cause the dog to remain in a position or stand for indefinite periods is not within the acceptable Humane Standards at Yuppie Puppy Studios. A dog's health, safety, comfort, before, during and after the groom is why your dog would choose one of our GROOMOLOGIST®. 

MSID (Musculoskeletal Injury & Disorders)

Health & Safety - Here we will examine some grooming techniques and procedures; how our GROOMONIC STANDARDS protect employees and your pet from Injuries that may cause Musculoskeletal  Injuries and Disorders (MSID).

Scissoring Carding and Hand Stripping are repetitive hand action techniques performed over the dogs entire body and coat.  Time consuming, scissoring carding and hand stripping may require dogs to stand stationary and patiently for long periods.  Scissoring, carding or hand stripping is preferred by some pet grooming practitioners to create a special enhanced show groom conditioned coat and look. These repetitive and sometimes awkward techniques can cause  hand and wrist injuries resulting in a painful syndrome known as Carpel Tunnel - requiring the practitioner to take large doses of medication or have surgery to gain pain relief. The time required for and the repetitive trigger action of these repetitive techniques has to be reduced to protect pet grooming practitioners from stress injuries that may cause muscle and skeletal disorders. This is done by using animal clippers and other pet grooming tools and procedures to minimizing stresses on the pet and pet groomer. The time and lengthy grooming session needed to body scissor, card or hand strip a pet dogs coat is rarely cost efficient for pets grooming and lifestyle. It may be justly argued by some in the pet grooming profession, using electrical animal clippers and pet grooming procedures can not produce the same show coat finish. Pet grooming practitioners properly trained and skilled in the use of electric animal clippers and less stressful pet grooming procedures can produce a trim and finished look acceptable for most pets and owners lifestyle needs.

Brushing, Combing & De-matting -  is a repetitive action of the hand and forearm. Brushing and combing is performed over the dogs entire coat and body. What appears to be a simple task, can be time relevant and compounded by awkward  hand movements and positioning that  many cause injuries or worsen previous injuries to a practitioners hands and forearm. Training in the proper use of several different brushing and coat tools and efficient tool use techniques can reduce repetitive trigger action injury risks. Varying coat textures and  problematic coat conditions require a  knowledge of brushing tools and a mastery of safer  brushing techniques. Switching to the correct coat tool and/or  brush is often not applied due to the lack of reinforcement of ergonomic training.  What  20 brush stokes or more won't  produce the correct tool can successfully accomplish in a few strokes. Reducing the need and number of repetitions helps reduce possibility of injury to a impatient puppy or aggravation of a older pets joints. Different ergonomically designed tools use for the same task, exchanged often may prevent the practitioners hand and  the dog from suffering from awkward position injuries.  Brushes ergonomically designed to fit the hand and task minimize this repetitive movement hazard. Training out the  human desire or instinct to have tactile contact with soft furry animal coats as they groom can lessen unnecessary repetitive bushing and combing action. Exam gloves that normally serve as protection from parasites hazards and other animal coat contaminates are useful in increases brushing efficiency by denying  tactile contact rewards  and adds a secondary affect of reducing hand oils from contaminating and flattening a cleaned fluffed coat caused by constant pet down hand petting.     

Lifting - Rules Rules for lifting can not always be practical or safe when applied to lifting an excited, fearful and animated animal.

The rules of Lifting from the knees by squatting down can cause a lose of balance and fall backwards when  a large dog leans into you or smaller dogs hops into your lap. A temperamental, frightened or non-submissive dog may see your fall as making you vulnerable. Depending on the dogs breed, temperament and personality this position of vulnerability could result in a bite injury. Floor grooming of large dogs may prevent lifting hazards but actually may increase the potential for back and knee injuries.

Grooming Posture & Positioning

A practitioners posture and the positioning of dogs for grooming is dependant on many factors, but most important is the Musculoskeletal health of both the practitioner and pet. 

A dog's, size, weight, temperament and age has to be a consideration when applying any handling and grooming procedure.

Many groomers make the mistake of sitting for long periods during grooming sessions with small to medium sized dogs. Those that sit at computers for long periods have learned sitting can cause stresses in the wrist, arms and in the lower back just typing. Grooming and handling dogs on a grooming table from a sitting position may increase the practitioners risk of wrist, arm and back injuries even more. Moving and positioning even a light weight dog around constantly to the varied positions needed during grooming from a sitting posture may cause discomfort and possible injuries to the pet as well.

Grooming and Handling any sized dog primarily from a standing position provides the practitioner the ability to work around the dog. Repositioning the dog less as a result of standing reduces hazards of injury for both and offers safer and better grooming control to the practitioner. The involvement and movement of the practitioners entire body improves the efficiency of the circulatory system and helps maintain musculoskeletal health.


Employee Safety Training in efficient grooming procedures, safe and humane handling, verbal communication control, animal positioning and self - posture control techniques, and use of ergonomic designed tools, work spaces, and engineered equipment such as, hydraulic grooming table  lifts and tub lifts or steps reduce the risks of (MSID) Musculoskeletal Injuries and Disorders from occurring to the practitioner and pet.

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Up dated 2016