What's behind COURT CHALLENGES to ergo rule?
Business groups argue that OSHA’s new requirements:
- Make employers liable for injuries aggravated, but not caused by, work;
- Override existing workers’ compensation laws and create a “most-favored injury” status for ergonomics;
- Are too complex to be finalized in the 11 months since the proposal was issued;
- Do not specify which controls employers are expected to use to eliminate or reduce supposed hazards — because there is inadequate scientific evidence to establish which, if any, controls will work;
- Waste billions of dollars and provide little or no benefit to workers;
- Conflict with the National Labor Relations Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and state workers’ compensation laws;
- Are based on inadequate science and will be much more costly than projected;
- Leave employers at the mercy of OSHA inspectors who might second-guess any attempts to comply.
Labor unions argue that:
- The standard is not proactive enough — Employers must be required to fix ergonomic-related hazards before employees are injured;
- The standard allows too much time for compliance;
- OSHA must set a timetable for ergo requirements covering the railroad industry, construction, agriculture, and maritime industries.
Within three weeks of the standard being published, these groups had filed court challenges: AFL-CIO; Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees; United Steelworkers; American Iron and Steel Institute; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Oregon AFL-CIO; National Association of Manufacturers; U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Labor Policy Association; Society for Human Resource Management; National Beer Wholesalers Association; National Coalition on Ergonomics; and Atlantic Indemnity Company.