Seattle Paper Opposes I-841Good editorial in the Seattle Post Intelligencer opposing Washington State Initiative 841 which would repeal the state’s ergonomics standard:
Washington voters could strain themselves trying to figure out the debate over the ergonomics initiative.Time grows short. Call ALL of your friends in Washington and urge them and their friends to VOTE NO on I-841. I did.
But let's go to the bottom line: Initiative 841 deserves a no vote. It represents more of the ballot nonsense that has paralyzed the state.
Initiative 841 runs roughshod over the working public's right to safety, the normal processes of government and the state's power. Instead of fine-tuning ergonomics rules adopted by the state Department of Labor and Industries, the initiative asks voters to bulldoze aside protections against repetitive injuries.
We have sympathy with business concerns over the state's ergonomics rules. Common sense, good will and modest adjustments limit most problems.
There may well be a case for eliminating or slowing the rules' implementation. But that should be based on study by Labor and Industries or by the Legislature.
The initiative is so sweeping because its writers couldn't restrain themselves from effectively throwing away the state's right to protect workers. The initiative says that Labor and Industries can't adopt new rules against ergonomic injuries except as required by the federal government. Legislators could still act -- but they don't typically write workplace rules.
Voters should resist I-841's quick fix. It will only buy us more trouble.