While ergonomics remains a hot occupations safety topic nationally, at least one state has passed a bill preventing state-level regulators from issuing a workplace ergonomic standard.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill that he said would prevent an “undue burden” from being placed on businesses. Under the new law, state safety officials can only provide information or assistance to companies who opt to voluntarily implement a workplace ergonomics program. Democratic lawmakers who tried to block the bill said it would limit the state’s ability to protect workers. "This bill is unnecessary and is an overall bad idea because it goes against what businesses already know, that ergonomic standards are in their best interest," said Democratic Floor Leader Tupac A. Hunter of Detroit.
The bill prevents the enactment of ergonomic rules that were developed but never formalized under the previous governor, Democrat Jennifer Granholm. Those rules were intended to limit injuries caused by repetitive motion, lifting, and uncomfortable positions while performing work-related tasks. Businesses had opposed making the rules mandatory, claiming that compliance would have been costly.
California is currently the only state with workplace ergonomics regulations.