Here are Chao’s principles for attacking ergo hazards, which could easily be adopted for other issues:
- Prevention — Place greater emphasis on preventing injuries before they occur.
- Sound Science — Any approach should be based on the best available science and research.
- Incentive-Driven — Cooperation between OSHA and employers is a must.
- Flexibility — Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Feasibility — Small businesses need any future action to recognize cost of compliance.
- Clarity — Any approach must include short, simple, and common sense instructions.
Chao made no specific commitment to restart the ergo standards-setting process. She did say any new Bush administration effort would focus only on high-risk jobs, and workers would not be paid for their injuries.
At a Capitol Hill press conference held the day before Chao testified, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney was joined by Democratic Senators Edward Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, Tom Harkin, and Paul Wellstone in demanding that a new rule be developed immediately.