In an official ceremony on March 20, President George W. Bush quashed ten years of OSHA rulemaking with the swipe of his pen, signing Congress’s repeal of the ergonomics standard.
It was the first time ever Congress and the White House teamed to strike down a finalized workplace safety and health rule.
“In exchange for uncertain benefits, the ergonomics rule would have cost both large and small employers billions of dollars and presented employers with overwhelming compliance challenges,” Bush said in a statement.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said recent economic woes made Bush’s action more timely. “In this time of fragile economic circumstances, he does not want to take any action that would hurt economic growth and cost small businesses and other businesses billions of dollars,” Fleischer said.
Fleischer said Bush has directed Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to find workplace safety solutions that don’t hurt businesses. But no one in Washington is holding their breath for a Bush administration ergonomics proposal.