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      the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) to expand ongoing basic research on relevant tissues (e.g., skeletal muscle, tendon, peripheral nerve) to promote study of those parameters that are directly relevant to work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

    • Creating mechanisms to stimulate collaboration and cross-training of researchers in the basic and applied sciences directly relevant to work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

    • Developing mechanisms to promote research jointly conducted by industry and the relevant academic disciplines on work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

    2. Expanding considerably research training relevant to musculoskeletal disorders, particularly with relation to graduate programs in epidemiology, occupational health, occupational psychology, and ergonomics, to produce additional individuals with research training.

    3. Expanding education and training programs to assist workers and employers (particularly small employers) in understanding and utilizing the range of possible workplace interventions designed to reduce musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, consideration should be given to expanding continuing education (e.g., NIOSH Education and Research and Training Projects) for a broad range of professionals concerning risk factors that contribute to musculoskeletal disorders inside and outside the workplace.

    4. Developing mechanisms for cooperative studies among industry, labor unions, and academia, including:

    • Establishing a database of and mechanism for communicating “best practices.”

    • Providing incentives for industry and union cooperation with due regard for proprietary considerations and administrative barriers.

    • Encouraging funding for such studies from industry, labor, academia, and government sources.

    5. Revising administrative procedures to promote joint research funding among agencies.

    6. Encouraging the exchange of scientific information among researchers interested in intervention research through a variety of mechanisms. Areas that could benefit include the development of (1) research methodologies, especially improved measurement of outcomes and exposures, covariates, and costs and (2) uniform approaches, allowing findings to be compared across studies. In addition, periodic meetings

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