OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
"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 final standard."
1,100 To Testify Over 9 Weeks
Today OSHA begins its public hearing on the agency's ergonomics proposal. About 1,100 individuals are signed up to testify over the next nine weeks in Washington, Chicago or Portland, Ore.
"Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are the most serious occupational health hazard facing our nation because they can end careers prematurely and destroy lives along with livelihoods," said Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman. "But they can be prevented. That is why we are committed to issuing a final ergonomics standard this year. The hearing provides an opportunity for employers, employees and all who have a vested interest in the health and well-being of our nation's workforce to tell us how to make the proposed standard better and stronger.
"This is the right thing to do, and now is the right time to do it," Herman said.
OSHA's proposed ergonomics standard would cover 27 million workers at 1.9 million general industry sites. The 10 and one-half page proposal is expected to prevent an average of 300,000 injuries and generate $9 billion in savings each year.
"We've spent 10 years studying this issue, talking with stakeholders, analyzing evidence, reviewing data and sifting ideas and options," said Assistant Secretary of Labor Charles N. Jeffress. "It's time for all parties to engage in good faith to find ways to prevent the painful, potentially disabling injuries that account for one-third of U.S. workers' compensation cases. and we welcome this opportunity to listen."
The transcripts of these hearings are available at:
Except for opening day, the hearing begins daily at 8:30 a.m. and runs approximately until 6:00 p.m. OSHA received nearly 7,000 comments on the proposal during the 100-day public comment period that closed 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 under "Ergonomics."
This news release is on the OSHA Internet homepage at www.osha.gov.
Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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