Saturday, February 23, 2008

New Michigan Ergonomics Rules Could Soon Become Law

The problem of getting ergonomics laws passed ...

"Michigan could not adopt rules creating workplace ergonomic standards if a bill passed by the Senate, SB843, approved on a 21-17 straight party line vote Wednesday, becomes law.

The bill seeks to shortchange discussions that have been ongoing for some years on developing a proposal that would set standards on ergonomic furniture and equipment in workplaces to help prevent and minimize injuries from repetitive stress injuries.

The General Industry Safety Standards Commission and the Occupational Health Standards Commission are reviewing the potential rules, now on draft 15.

Business groups have stridently opposed the rules, arguing they would discourage businesses from locating or staying in the state.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Buzz Thomas (D-Detroit) said if the state passes the bill it could potentially be in violation of federal workplace safety rules. The state has to have rules that are at least in conformity with federal rules, he said, and if the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration adopted ergonomic rules then Michigan could be in violation because of legislation blocking any rules on ergonomics.

But Sen. Alan Sanborn (R-Richmond), sponsor of the bill, said that excess regulations are one reason that Michigan is less attractive to businesses. Union leaders, trial lawyers and Governor Jennifer Granholm all want ergonomic regulations, he said."    (Continued via Michigan Technology News)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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