Magazine article Techniques

Ergonomics Rule Repealed

Magazine article Techniques

Ergonomics Rule Repealed

Article excerpt

On March 6, the U.S. Senate voted 56-44 to repeal the regulation issued by the Clinton administration that was designed to reduce workplace injuries in offices, factories and shops. On March 11, the House also voted, by a 223-206 margin, to repeal the regulation.

The rule allows the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to set new standards requiring businesses to provide ergonomic conditions to protect employees from injuries associated with repetitive strain and heavy lifting. The rule affects a wide variety of workers, including many in the career and technical field who use computers or manufacturing technology equipment.

Although vigorously opposed by some business groups, the regulations have been pushed by labor advocates for more than a decade.

Senate Republicans, who voted unanimously against the rule, argued that the regulations were simply too costly and would create an unnecessary burden on businesses, large and small. This claim mainly stems from concerns among business leaders that such regulations would lead to an explosion of workers' compensation claims and drive many smaller companies into bankruptcy. …

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