Today's News

Ergo dispute dashes $144-billion budget deal

Now the nation knows what safety and health pros have known for years — OSHA’s plans for an ergonomics rule is a white-hot controversy, divisive enough to send Congress home for a cooling-off period after Democrats and Republicans failed to reach a compromise that would allow the agency to publish final requirements.

Seldom does a job safety issue take center stage in Washington like the ergo rule did just days before the national election. Congress’s failure to compromise on ergo standards-setting killed a tentative accord on a $144-billion funding bill for health, education and labor. Early Monday morning (Oct. 30), negotiators for Democrats and Republicans added a “rider” to the budget bill that prohibited OSHA from enforcing an ergo standard until June 1, 2001 — but the wording did not explicitly restrict OSHA from issuing the standard.

House Republican leaders canceled the compromise later on Monday, saying it did not give the next administration the authority to decide whether to move ahead with a rule. President Clinton vowed to veto the bill if it contained any language preventing OSHA from issuing its long-awaited standard. The stalemate had both sides accusing the other of currying to special interest groups in an election-eve frenzy, and Clinton used the ergo issue to attack Republicans while he campaigned for Vice President Al Gore.

Now Congress is heading home for the elections and a cooling off period, with work on the budget tentatively set to resume Nov. 14. The outcome of the close White House race will have a lot to say about how Congress settles the ergo dispute.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

3/31/15 11:00 am EST

Changes to NFPA 70E® – What You Need to Know

NFPA ® for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is revised every three years, providing the most up-to-date requirements for safe work practices to reduce exposure to electrical hazards. This program analyzes several significant changes in 70E ® and is designed to clarify the reasoning behind the changes, and assist in determining how the changes impact employees and employers.

ISHN Magazine


2015 March

Check out ISHN's March issue, which features articles about moisture wicking technology, toxic gas detection and fall protection.

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015



For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 



Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.