Representing 33,000 safety professionals, the American Society of Safety Engineers told OSHA officials at hearings in Chicago that an ergonomics standard is needed — but not the one the agency has drafted.

ASSE said OSHA’s proposal contains these “flaws”:

  • The issue of payment for rehabilitation, social issues and workers' compensation reengineering should be left to existing federal and state laws and regulations governing these areas.
  • The “one case” trigger called for in the standard is poor policy because many ergonomic problems arise off-the-job, and in the absence of a clear triggering incident, getting at the root cause is extremely problematic.
  • The rule should be issued as a safety standard, not as a health standard as OSHA proposes, and ergonomic injuries should not be treated in a different manner than other workplace injuries.

"Most ergonomic problems cannot be corrected through low-tech solutions such as having an employee stand on a box, or propping up a computer monitor with a phonebook as OSHA has suggested," testified John Cheffer, CSP, chair of the ASSE Governmental Affairs Committee.

ASSE's comments on the OSHA ergonomics proposal and a copy of ASSE's counterproposal are posted on ASSE's web site at