In regards to the ergonomic hearing held yesterday by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Service, the Alliance of American Insurers called for a thoughtful and practical approach to creating a new rule.
The Senate hearing was held in connection with pending legislation that would require the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to re-issue an ergonomic rule within two years, to go into effect within 90 days of promulgation. The bill (S 598) specifies areas the rule should cover and specifically prohibits any interference with state workers’ compensation laws.
Alliance Vice President of Safety and Environment Keith Lessner said OSHA should move forward in developing a comprehensive approach to addressing ergonomics.
Alliance Washington Counsel Kenneth D. Schloman stated that no matter how the specific issue of S 598 is resolved, OSHA has already gone on record as promising to focus closely on ergonomics. It’s not clear at this point whether this means that they will ultimately issue a new rule or not. Schloman maintained that the Alliance position is as long as a common-sense approach is followed, businesses and workers will benefit from a close look.
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