"This document was published prior to the publication of OSHA's final rule
on Ergonomics Program (29 CFR 1910.900, November 14, 2000), and therefore
does not necessarily address or reflect the provisions set forth in the
National News Release
Tuesday, February 22, 2000
Contact: Susan Hall Fleming (202) 693-1999
Ergonomics Proposal Hearing To Open April 24 in Portland, Ore.
The public hearing on OSHA's proposed ergonomics standard will run from April 24 to May 3, 2000, in Portland, Ore., the agency announced today.
"Protecting workers against painful and potentially disabling musculoskeletal disorders is OSHA's top priority," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Charles N. Jeffress. "Holding the public hearing in three locations will enable us to get valuable feedback on our proposal from participants across the country."
Jeffress noted that American working men and women suffer more than 1.8 million injuries related to overexertion or repetitive motion each year, including about 600,000 injuries serious enough to require time away from work for recovery. Musculoskeletal disorders account for one-third of all lost-time injuries in U.S. workplaces. The proposed OSHA standard would cover 27 million workers and prevent an average of 300,000 injuries each year, saving the U.S. economy $9 billion annually.
The Portland hearing continues the informal public hearing, which will begin March 13 in Washington, D.C., and continue April 11 in Chicago. The Chicago portion of the hearing will be held in the James R. Thompson Center Assembly Hall at 100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, Ill. The April 24 session in Portland will be held in Courtroom 16 in the Mark Hatfield Federal Court House at 1000 Southwest 3rd Ave, Portland, Ore. It will begin daily at 8:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m.
Hearing participants were required to notify the agency of their intent to testify by Jan. 24, 2000, if they wanted more than 10 minutes for their testimony. Last month, OSHA extended the public comment period on the ergonomics proposal for 30 days to March 2, 2000.
OSHA published its ergonomics proposal in the Nov. 23, 1999, Federal Register. Copies of the regulatory text, as well as the preamble and other supporting materials, are available on the agency's website at www.osha.gov under "Ergonomics."
Official notice of the dates and location for the Portland session is expected to appear in the Federal Register shortly.
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This news release is on the OSHA Internet homepage at http://www.osha.gov.
Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.