Ergonomic Regulations Repealed

News Note

By Darren Buford

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, June/July 2001.

Adding salt to already existing wounds (literally), the House, the Senate and President Bush all voted in March to repeal former-President Clinton’s ergonomic regulations that specifically addressed repetitive stress injury and debilitating ergonomic injuries (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome) affecting nearly 1 million Americans. Former-President Clinton’s ergonomic standard, issued in November 2000, would have protected as many as 500,000 work-related injuries per year and would have covered more than 100 million workers.

On March 6, the Senate voted 56 to 44 to rescind the regulation, and the following day, the House voted 223 to 206 for repeal. The pro-organized labor bill, the result of an 11-year effort, was decried by more than 200 business groups and politicians as unneccesarily expensive and unworkable.