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Business Hails Congressional Vote on Ergonomics

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

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