Ergonomics Public Forum Registration Begins Today

Those looking to take part in one of OSHA's three public forums\r\nscheduled to take place this summer can begin to register today.

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Those looking to take part in one of OSHA''s three public forums scheduled to take place this summer can begin to register today.

Assistant secretary of labor, R. Davis Layne, told attendees at ASSE''s Safety 2001 professional development conference and exposition in Anaheim Monday that will be made available on the GPO website, at www.gpo.gov, or at OSHA''s website at www.osha.gov.

In addition to signing up to speak at the one of the forums or to simply submit comments to Chao regarding ergonomics issues, information posted on the sites will also give details about the forums and how to register to attend one of the sessions.

Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao is using the forums to determine whether the public wants to reconsider imposing ergonomics legislation and how to create a new standard.

Layne said the information generated in the one-day public forums schedued to take place in Washington, DC on July 16; in Illinois on July 20; and in California on July 24, will be used to define:

  • what qualifies as an ergonomics injury,
  • how to prove that an ergonomic injury is, in fact, work-related, and
  • cost-effective ways government officials can address the issue.

Chao and senior Department of Labor officials will participate in portions of the forums, along with other stakeholder groups. Layne said all comments and information generated by the forums need to be presented to Chao by Aug. 3.

Chao has set herself a September deadline to identify the final course of action on the issue. Her options include new rulemaking, voluntary guidelines, technical assistance to companies, partnerships, or some combination of these possibilities.

by Melissa Martin

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