GM to Fight Injuries from Jobs Involving Repetitive Motion

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WASHINGTON (AP) - General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers union will cooperate in the nation's most extensive program to combat repetitive motion injuries, Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole said Tuesday.

One hundred thirty-eight plants and an estimated 302,000 workers will take part in an effort similar to those being undertaken by Chrysler Corp. and Ford Motor Co. last year and earlier this year, the Labor Department said.

The GM pact is part of a settlement of government charges that the nation's largest automaker violated safety and health rules at plants in Trenton, N.J., and Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City plant employs approximately 5,000 workers.

GM will pay $360,000 in fines for the alleged violations.

A spokeswoman said GM would have no immediate comment.

Repetitive motion traumas, also referred to as cumuluative trauma disorders, are disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems caused by repetitive motions or exertion over extended periods.

Painful and sometimes crippling, they range from back injuries to a nerve disorder of the hand and wrist to various tendon ailments. They comprise about 48 percent of the work place injuries for which the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration keeps records. …