After OSHA announced that it will rely on voluntary guidelines to address ergonomics problems, legislation was again introduced that would force the agency to adopt an ergonomics standard within two years.
The bill (S. 2184) sponsored by Senator John Breaux (La.), was introduced on April 17 and has attracted 32 cosponsors in the Senate. The legislation may be "marked up" sometime in mid-June and has enough support in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to be passed out of the committee, according to the American Industrial Hygiene Association. What happens then on the floor of the Senate remains to be seen.
Republicans might filibuster the bill, effectively denying its full debate, or sponsors may attempt to attach the bill to the Labor appropriations bill. Even if the legislation is adopted in the Senate it faces an uphill battle in the House, according to AIHA. Plus, President Bush will probably do everything possible to see that any ergo bill does not become law.
Ergo talk is more popular in Congress than in the White House, it seems.