Breaux’s bill requires the Labor Department to "address work-related musculoskeletal disorders and workplace ergonomics hazards" within two years, and would not apply to disorders that occur outside work or were simply aggravated by work.
Any new federal ergo rule clearly must define under what circumstances an employer is required to address ergonomic hazards and what standards will be used to measure the employers' performance, according to the legislation.
The bill also would prohibit any new rule from expanding existing state workers' compensation laws, and would provide information, training materials and outreach programs to help both employers and employees comply with the new rule.
In addition to Louisiana Sens. Breaux and Mary Landrieu , the legislation cosponsors include, Sens. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), Tim Johnson (D- S.D.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Zell Miller (D-Ga.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).