The Republican-led lower chamber of the Michigan legislature voted 56-45 along party lines on January 17 to kill efforts to introduce ergonomics rules to workplaces. The vote sends the bill to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it is expected to pass. House Bill 5447 is aimed at preventing the administration of Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm from mandating “a program or practice that addresses musculoskeletal disorders … caused by repetitive motion or stress.”
Republicans claim the standard would have discouraged job creation in Michigan and prompted companies to locate or relocate elsewhere. Democrats insist ergonomics helps businesses save money, not lose it.
The repeal of the national ergonomics standard in 2001 by Republican President George W. Bush, shortly after its introduction by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), hastened the death of the Michigan effort to establish ergonomics rules.
California is the only state with an ergonomics standard.
The Ergonomics Report