Cal-OSHA Rejects Ergonomics Petition

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted unanimously to reject a petition by the AFL-CIO to amend California's ergonomics rules to incorporate the former federal ergonomics regulations.

Stating that the rescinded federal ergonomics standard does not provide a "sound model" for improving California's regulation, both the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and the Cal-OSHA Standards Board's staff recommended that the board deny a petition by the California Labor Federation to adopt the now-defunct federal rule in this state.

"The board recognized that it is too early for California to take any actions," said Mark Webb, representing the American Insurance Association in its opposition to the federal standards. "It is premature for California to start the rule making process before federal officials complete their national forums and decide how they will address the ergonomics issue."

The Department of Labor concluded this week, in California, the last of three hearings on whether or not to have a federal regulation on ergonomics.

Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao set herself a September deadline to identify the final course of action on the issue.

Edited by Virginia Foran

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