From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Senate Committee Votes for Ergonomics Regulations

In a 11-10 vote along party lines, The Democrat-controlled Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved legislation Wednesday requiring the Labor Department (DOL) to create regulations to reduce workplace musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

The bill requires the DOL to create within two years regulations covering all industries, making clear what employers are required to do and when.

Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy, (D-MA) stated, “The administration’s plan to address this health crisis in the workplace replays failed strategies from the past. They rely on toothless voluntary guidelines that most corporations will simply ignore. These guidelines will be developed piecemeal, industry by industry, rather than covering workers at risk in all industries.”

Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY), one of the most vocal adversaries of Clinton’s repealed ergonomics regulations, said he planned to block a vote on the legislation when it reaches the Senate floor.

Passing the bill will be less likely in the Republican-controlled House. Democrats plan to attach the bill to appropriations legislation instead of offering it for consideration as a stand-alone measure on the Senate floor.