In response to the proposed OSHA ergonomics standard, which was released last week, a wide cross-section of industry and the business community has come together to form a "Forum for a Responsible Ergonomics Standard."
OSHA has set a Feb. 1, 2000 deadline for public comment on the proposed standard. The Forum is being led by legal experts Collier, Shannon, Rill and Scott PLLC, Washington, D.C., and by Exponent Inc., a leading science and engineering firm with expertise in occupational ergonomics.
"The goal of the Forum is to ensure that any mandatory ergonomics standard promulgated by OSHA is scientifically sound and economically feasible," said Kate McMahon-Lohrer of Collier, Shannon, Rill and Scott's environmental, safety and health practice group. "By submitting meaningful, specific and persuasive comments during the public comment period, and by working with the OSHA officials drafting the standard over the next months, we hope to positively shape a workable, feasible ergonomics standard for employers."
Dr. Jeffrey Fernandez Ph.D., PE, CPE, of Exponent will provide occupational ergonomics experience and a scientific footing to the Forum's leadership.
"Although a preliminary look at the proposed standard shows some improvements have been made since the previous draft issued by OSHA last winter, the proposal retains certain provisions that industry will have great difficulty living with, such as the medical removal/ worker restriction provision and the one employee trigger," said McMahon-Lohrer.
According to certain industry representatives, these provisions would cost employers billions of dollars a year and provide no significant increased safety to employees.