March 6, 2001
Administration supports enactment of S.J. Res. 6, which would overturn
the recently issued "ergonomics" program standard designed to address
injuries caused by repetitive motion or overexertion. These regulations
would cost employers, large and small, billions of dollars annually
while providing uncertain benefits. If implemented, they would require
employers to establish burdensome and costly new systems intended
to track, prevent, and provide compensation for an extremely broad
class of injuries whose cause is subject to considerable dispute.
In addition, a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that none of the common musculoskeletal disorders are uniquely caused by work exposures. A number of outside analyses have shown that compliance with this standard could cost employers significantly more than the $4.5 billion estimated by OSHA. Finally, this program standard is so vague and cumbersome that employers, particularly small business owners, would face an overwhelming challenge in attempting to comply.