Business Hails Congressional Vote on Ergonomics

March 12, 2001
Last week's Congressional vote to repeal OSHA's ergonomics\r\nstandard is a clear victory for business which has labeled the\r\nregulation as unworkable and costly.

Last week''s Congressional vote to repeal OSHA''s ergonomics standard is a clear victory for business which has labeled the regulation unworkable and costly.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded congressional action stopping the Clinton Administration regulation and welcomed news that President Bush is expected to sign the joint resolution of disapproval.

"Congress took the right step in stopping a regulation that would cost businesses billions of dollars without any proven benefit to workers," said Randel Johnson, Chamber vice president for labor policy. "The ergo regulation was a political payback to unions and Congress has wisely refused to sign that blank check."

The House passed the Senate resolution of disapproval to overturn OSHA''s ergonomics rule one day after similar action by the Senate under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to kill regulations within 60 days of final issuance.

The Chamber lobbied heavily for repeal of the regulation and filed suit in federal court on Nov. 13, charging the ergonomics rules were "incomprehensible and unconstitutional."

"The rule would have been a gross disservice to workers, employers and the public at large," said Johnson. "Lawyers and consultants would have gotten richer, millions in fees would change hands and productive investments put off, but the rule would have provided no additional workplace safety."

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a construction organization focused on small businesses, echoed the Chambers sentiments concerning the repeal.

"This politically charged regulation would have cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars, without any guarantee of tangible, scientific benefit to the employees," said ABC President Henry Kelly. "Congress realized the damage that this harmful regulation would have caused, and with a strong bipartisan vote, they stopped this heavy-handed standard before it devastated the small business community."

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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