Senator Bond Blasts Ergonomics Proposal

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business has written that OSHA's proposed ergonomics rule is "so fundamentally flawed" that the agency should withdraw it.

Because of a scheduling conflict, Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., did not deliver his testimony in person. Instead, the senator sent his 11-page written statement to the docket, as have thousands of other private citizens.

"OSHA is pursuing a regulation that will create confusion, extreme burdens, disruptions, distortions, and liability without any predictable success," the letter stated.

Like most business opponents of the rule, Bond attacked the proposal for not offering employers specific guidance on hazard identification or what should be done to prevent injuries.

Bond said many or most small businesses will be unable to conduct the technical analyses required by the rule and he said the "quick fix" and grandfather clauses offer no relief.

The letter also called on OSHA to delay rulemaking until the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) completes its review of the scientific literature on ergonomics. The House passed a bill requiring OSHA to wait for the NAS study, but the Senate's effort to approve the measure was stalled last year by a threatened filibuster.

It is not clear whether the Senate will try again this year to pass the bill, which President Clinton has threatened to veto.

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