Faced with business group opposition and a tight deadline, the non-profit National Safety Council (NSC) recently abandoned its attempts to develop an ergonomics standard for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
As part of its role in developing consensus standards regarding industrial issues, ANSI’s ergonomics committee had previously approved two draft ergonomics standards developed by the NSC. However, on both occasions, business groups and employers raised concerns regarding the standards and, in particular, raised opposition against the NSC, accusing the council of weighting the ergonomics committee with too many pro-regulation members and not taking into consideration business group objections to the proposed ergonomics standards. Additionally, business groups were concerned that, once approved, OSHA might begin fining businesses that didn’t follow the ANSI ergonomics standard.
ANSI addressed business group allegations by instructing the NSC to complete its ergonomics standards within 60 days; ANSI also began its own investigation of the allegations against the NSC. The NSC responded that the time limitation was too stringent to be met and subsequently dropped out of the development process.
Representatives of ANSI have said that now that the NSC is no longer involved, they are open to allowing another group to replace the council in the process of developing an ergonomics standard.
Source: Wall Street Journal