The Ergonomics Debate Shifts Gears

By Bullard, Joanne | Risk Management, June 2001 | Go to article overview

The Ergonomics Debate Shifts Gears


Bullard, Joanne, Risk Management


A few days after the White House approved legislation nullifying OSHA's ergonomics program standard, a bipartisan coalition of senators proposed legislation that mandates Labor Department action on the problem of ergonomic injuries in the workplace. Risk managers find themselves once again confronting the possibility of federal regulation. The real test is whether the legislation and resulting regulations can fully address the concerns of employers--including cost issues and federal interference with state workers' compensation laws.

Senators John Breaux (D-LA) and Mien Specter (R-PA) introduced legislation on March 22, 2001 that requires the Labor Department to adopt ergonomic rules within two years. Under the proposed bill, S. 598, no federal ergonomics standard could exceed state workers' compensation laws, nor could it apply to any injuries sustained outside of work or exacerbated by work duties. The new rules would also clarify the workplace circumstances that would require the use of an ergonomics program and employer compliance standards.

Original cosponsors of the legislation include Max Cleland (D-GA), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Zell Miller (D-GA), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Ted Stevens (R-AK). Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, along with labor interests and representatives from the business community, has testified on the ergonomics issue and has suggested that she is open to any of a number of possible solutions to the problem of ergonomics-related injuries in the workplace--including issuing new regulations or simply enforcing the current OSHA statute. However, if S. 598 were to become law, its broad mandate to the Labor Department makes clear that Chao would make the ultimate determination on the content of any future ergonomics rules.

In response to a RIMS letter to Chao, Steven Law, Chao's chief of staff, replied, "the Secretary has stated her intent to pursue a comprehensive approach to ergonomics, which could include a new rulemaking that addresses concerns levied against the recently reversed standard."

This new legislation is the latest development in a swirling cycle of events surrounding the ergonomics issue. By publishing rules last November, OSHA assured that they would become effective sixty days later, just before President Clinton left office.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Ergonomics Debate Shifts Gears
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.