Job Injuries Focus of Guild-AP Study

Study recommends ways to help photographers, video shooters avoid workplace injuries

This study and report are the culmination of more than 10 years of work involving the News Media Guild, The Associated Press and ergonomics experts at New York University.

The work began when the Guild obtained OSHA records showing that AP photographers suffered nearly 40 percent of the injuries reported by the company although they made up just 9 percent of the work force. The Guild then surveyed AP photographers separately to find out ureported injuries and the severity and type of injuries.

View the executive summary here

View the full report here

The Guild and the AP agreed in 2005 to contract language that authorized the study, which began in 2008.

The study used focus groups of AP photographers and video journalists, field video studies, on-hands field studies and marketing studies to help photographers and video journalists  prevent injuries.  Other studies addressed general issues of lifting and carrying but none addressed the specific issues of these professions.

This study recommends ergonomic ways to carry gear that can be applied individually so that AP photographers and  video journalists can prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders. It also recommends the establishment of wellness and aerobic fitness programs, along with an education module.

The Guild will use this study as the starting point for a discussion with AP about how to maintain and/or improve the health and fitness of AP photographers and video journalists.

Don Ryan

NMG Health and Safety Coordinator

Photographer, Portland, Ore.