IIAA Files Legal Challenge to OSHA Ergonomics Rules

January 17, 2001

The Independent Insurance Agents of America and several non-insurance, Washington-based trade groups have filed a legal challenge to the ergonomics standards released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in November.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Joining IIAA as petitioners are the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association, National Juice Products Association, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Inc., and Specialty Steel Industry of North America.

The OSHA ergonomics rule was published Nov. 14 in the Federal Register and goes into partial effect today; it will be fully implemented later this year on Oct. 15. IIAA expects that the group petition will be consolidated with the numerous other legal challenges the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has received in opposition to the ergonomics rule and will establish a schedule for briefing and oral argument.

These oral arguments normally begin within nine to 12 months of filing of petitions. IIAA opposes the new rules for several reasons, saying they will wreak havoc on independent agents as small business owners and employers. Second, they will create systemic instability in state-based workers’ compensation programs. Third, the new ergonomics rules will come with a huge price tag for independent agents and other small business owners who must come into compliance. And fourth, these new standards were promulgated without adequate scientific analysis.

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