Elements of Ergonomics Programs: A Primer Based on Workplace Evaluations of Musculoske letal Disorders features practical approaches for protecting workers from job-related musculoskeletal disorders, with examples from 20 years of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research and assistance. The document outlines approaches for identifying, correcting, and preventing problems, and illustrates how those techniques can be tailored for specific workplaces. It describes seven basic steps for controlling occupational musculoskeletal disorders and summarizes past NIOSH studies to show how those steps have been implemented. The primer also features a "toolbox" section containing checklists, surveys, illustrations, directories, publication lists, and other useful information for musculoskeletal protection programs. Copies are available by calling (800) 35-NIOSH and requesting Publication No. 97-117. More information about preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders, including summaries and copies of NIOSH studies referenced in the primer, can be obtained by visiting the NIOSH home page on the World Wide Web at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage/html.

Preventing Occupational Disease and Injury is a 750-page softcover handbook with a public health orientation to occupational disease suitable for occupational safety and injury control specialists, workers’ compensation specialists, personnel departments, and epidemiologists. Contents include strategies for prevention (including occupational medicine, injury control, legal and regulatory resources, and worker education and training), overview of occupational diseases and injuries, alphabetical listing by disease entity, updated table of sentinel health events, and sources of information. Cost is $19.95 for American Public Health Association (APHA) members, $28.50 for nonmembers. Contact: APHA, Publications Sales, telephone: (301) 893-1894/5; fax: (301) 843-0159.

ECRI, a nonprofit health services research agency, presents a two-part evaluation of surgical smoke evacuation units in the April issue of Health Devices. The evaluation addresses concerns about breathing airborne particulate matter and gases associated with smoke from laser and electrosurgical procedures. The journal provides an overview of the risks; explains technical details of smoke evacuator units; and presents evaluations of 17 units that ECRI tested, rated, and ranked based on each device’s ability to capture surgical smoke. Contact: ECRI, 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298; telephone: (610) 825-6000; fax: (610) 834-1275.

The Center for Spine in Savannah, GA, offers an encyclopedia of information on back and neck pain, treatment options, home remedies, and exercises for home and work on its World Wide Web site. The information includes statistics on incidence, costs, diagnosis, and treatments. According to the center, back problems are the second-leading cause of time away from work. Check out the Web site at http://www.centerforspine.com/ or call the Back Pain Hotline at (912) 691-BACK.