From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Will Ergonomics Really Cost Jobs?

One side says it will protect workers’ jobs; the other side says it will protect workers at their jobs. Now voters in the state of Washington are faced with the task of determining just how important a slight difference in wording is when it comes to the fate of that state’s ergonomics rule. And next month, they’ll offer their opinions at the poll: to keep or not to keep the ergonomics rule?

For an off-year election, where mostly local government offices are at stake and the polls attract their lowest voter turnouts, Initiative 841, a.k.a. I-841, is spicing up what would otherwise be a relatively bland election season.

For starters, the initiative, one that would repeal Washington’s current ergonomics rule and any future ergonomics rules that the state might try to pass, is pitting big business against organized labor. But rather than letting these two traditional foes duke it out themselves, I-841 is turning the decision-making over to the voters.

But the decision to put ergonomics on the ballot doesn’t come as a surprise to any of the involved parties. Says David Groves, spokesperson for Working Families for Safer Jobs, also known as the No On 841 Committee, “Anyone with enough money can get something on the ballot here.”

Like everyone else, Groves’ group