As 2004 gets underway, the American Industrial Hygiene Association offers this overview of ergonomics legislative action at the state level:

  • In 2003, the biggest defeat to those seeking ergonomics regulation was the vote in the state of Washington that repealed the state’s ergonomics standard. Washington state officials have said they will now focus on education efforts on ergonomics.

  • A 2003 bill in Minnesota that would create an ergonomics standard is stalled in committee and stands little chance of receiving any action.

  • In Rhode Island, a commission was to have been set up to consider the need for an ergonomics standard. This was passed in June 2002 but has yet to be established. The outlook isn’t promising. The commission was to report back by February 1 of this year and the commission will expire on April 1.

  • In Michigan, an ergonomics steering committee has been formed and has been meeting to discuss whether or not the state should consider an ergonomics standard.

  • Kentucky has introduced legislation to provide a tax credit for making ergonomics improvements in the workplace. Kentucky also has legislation pending that would create a board to study the feasibility of adopting an ergonomics standard.

  • Washington has several bills pending pertaining to a requirement that employers post notices of repetitive motion injuries.