Ergonomics Revisionism?Check out the first paragraph of this article:
New ergonomics guidelines pose challengesCalling the truth squad for rewrite:
Lynlee Wells Palmer
After a lengthy ergonomics debate between industry and the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA has been forced to abandon its hope for broad ergonomics regulations in favor of industry-specific guidelines promulgated under the Occupational Safety and Health Act's general duty clause, a catch-all clause that enables OSHA to issue both ergonomics guidelines and citations for ergonomics hazards within a workplace.
After a lengthy ergonomics war between industry and the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA forced workers to abandon their hope for broad ergonomics regulations in favor of unenforcable industry-specific guidelines. OSHA is now only able to cite employers under its general duty clause, a catch-all clause that enables OSHA, when it seems politically necessary, to issue citations for ergonomics hazards within a workplace.Aside from the fact that the author is an attorney representing management who doesn't understand OSHA or recent history or OSHA's General Duty Clause, it's not a terrible article. (I hope she doesn't charge too much.)
For enquiring minds, it is true that OSHA can cite under the General Duty Clause, but the General Duty Clause has nothing to do with OSHA's ability to write voluntary guidelines. The guidelines that OSHA has issued have a very lengthly disclaimer stating that the guidelines can not never, ever, ever, in a million years, no matter what, be used to cite employers, cross their hearts and hope to die. Don't even THINK about it! (Although in somewhat more legalistic language).