After missing two of its own self-imposed deadlines, OSHA finally stepped up to the plate on April 5, 2002, by publicly stating its plan of action for occupational ergonomics reducing workplace musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Not surprisingly, the enforcement agency will not immediately pursue a separate new standard for occupational ergonomics. Instead, OSHA will proceed with “a combination of industry-targeted guidelines, tough enforcement measures, workplace outreach, advanced research, and dedicated efforts to protect Hispanic and other immigrant workers.”
The announcement immediately drew both praise and fire.
United States Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Labor Policy Randel Johnson stated, “It remains to be seen how new and increased enforcement under these guidelines will play out, but overall the Department of Labor has proposed a balanced approach.”
“The business community will be fully engaged in every aspect of this debate going forward,” Johnson continued, “and will oppose legislation requiring OSHA to issue a mandatory regulation.”
Countering this thought, the AFL-CIO stated, “After more than a year of delays, the Bush administration announced April 5 a weak and unenforceable
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2002-05-01.