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Ergo advisory committee rides into sunset?

The National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE) is scheduled to conclude its efforts in November, unless it is renewed. Its fate is uncertain, according to an outlook by the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

OSHA has issued ergonomics guidelines on nursing homes and retail groceries, with guidelines for poultry processing in the final stage and guidelines for shipyards expected to be released in draft form this summer. NACE is expected to provide OSHA with recommendations on two more industries before its conclusion.

Ergo action on the state level is restricted to Michigan, where politics is being played out at the highest level. First, the legislature passed legislation to stop an advisory committee from drafting a standard. The governor vetoed this legislation. Then, Republicans inserted a non-appropriations clause into the state budget now being debated. Many expected this to be only “window dressing,” but recently the issue has resurfaced and it looks as if the non-appropriations clause may remain in the state budget, according to AIHA. Such a clause would mean that no dollars could be appropriated to the advisory committee in its work on ergonomics.

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