Legislation is pending that would require OSHA to adopt a safe-patient handling standard, according to Aaron Trippler, government affairs director for the American industrial Hygiene Association.

“With numerous states already having enacted this type of legislation and several others considering similar bills, this issue is gathering steam,” he writes in his monthly dispatch, “Happenings from the Hill.” Federal OSHA has not indicated whether or not it would support the bill, but the agency agrees the issue is important, according to Trippler.

“Insiders believe a hearing on this legislation is likely in the next month. If one were to guess on how this comes out, the legislation will probably fail because of the timeframe requiring OSHA to promulgate a standard in 18 months. The agency will probably take a look at this issue on its own, writes Trippler.

Industry opposition is expected to focus on the cost of the standard, “but more importantly, industry will see this as a first step to another attempt to enact a full ergonomics standard,” according to Trippler.