A group of Michigan senators, led by Alan Sanborn (R-Richmond), hopes to fast-track a bill they’ve introduced that would prohibit the state from establishing a rule for workplace ergonomics.
Michigan Senate Bill No. 93 was introduced January 27, 2009, and quickly advanced through the Economic Development and Regulatory Reform Committee. As of January 29, 2009, the committee has referred it back to the Senate "with the recommendation that the substitute (S-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass." (See the bill in it’s entirety, below).
The bill follows action by two commissions that backed developing rules governing how employers must address conditions that could put workers at risk for repetitive-motion injuries. The business community strongly objects to the rule, arguing that there is no need for a mandatory standard, that ergonomics-related workplace injuries have been dropping, and that compliance will be costly.
As of this writing, the entire text of the bill is as follows:
SENATE BILL No. 93
January 27, 2009, Introduced by Senators SANBORN, BISHOP, CROPSEY, JELINEK, VAN WOERKOM, STAMAS, McMANUS, ALLEN, KUIPERS, GEORGE, JANSEN, RICHARDVILLE, GILBERT, PATTERSON, HARDIMAN, BIRKHOLZ, CASSIS, GARCIA, KAHN, BROWN and PAPPAGEORGE and referred to the Committee on Economic Development and Regulatory Reform.
A bill to amend 1974 PA 154, entitled "Michigan occupational safety and health act," (MCL 408.1001 to 408.1094) by adding section 17.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
(1) A department, board, or commission authorized to promulgate rules under this act shall not promulgate a rule or establish a standard regarding workplace ergonomics.
(2) A department, board, or commission authorized to promulgate rules under this act may provide guidance, best practices information, or assistance for the voluntary implementation or practice of a workplace ergonomics program.
(3) For purposes of this section, "workplace ergonomics" means a program or practice that addresses musculoskeletal disorders that are caused by repetitive motion or stress.
Sources: Phil Jacobs; Michigan State Senate; Crain’s Detroit Business