S. 598 introduced on March 22, 2001 by Louisiana Sens. Breaux and Mary Landrieu , Sens. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), Tim Johnson (D- S.D.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Zell Miller (D-Ga.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), and H.R. 1241 introduced on March 27, 2001 by Sens. John, Houghton, Tanner, Cramer, and Dooley of California, and also Sens. Spratt and Carson of Oklahoma seeks "To provide for the reissuance of a rule relating to ergonomics."
Both bills outlined the following:
The Senators have slated to have the rules released within 2 years and apply the following:
- the circumstances under which an employer is required to take action to address ergonomics hazards;
-the measures required of an employer under the standard; and
-the compliance obligations of an employer under the standard.
In his press statement, Sen. Breaux said "A safe, working environment is very important to Louisiana workers. We must protect the health and safety of the millions of American workers who often make a living doing strenuous physical labor."
In addition to the bills, Senator Christopher Bond (R-MO), has urged Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao to convene a "blue ribbon commission" to explore the best ways for the Department of Labor and OSHA can protect employees from ergonomic hazards in the workplace.
In a letter, Bond said convening such a panel "would allow the various sides to participate in a dialog about what OSHA should do to address work- related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)." He also suggested that the best approach will rely on a solution more substantive than simply drafting another regulation to reduce work-related MSDs.
"Work-related injuries are serious matters that take a toll on both workers and their employers," Stated Bond after the letters release. "The business community has already demonstrated that there are responsible and voluntary ways for employers to help safeguard employees without opening a Pandora's box of OSHA citations and fines."