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OSHA Prepares New Ergonomics Rules

Insurance industry groups say it is anyone’s guess where the regulation of workplace ergonomics issues is heading.

Shortly after her appointment to President George W. Bush’s cabinet as secretary of labor, Elaine W. Chao promised to “pursue a comprehensive approach to ergonomics, which may include new rulemaking” and that addresses concerns raised about measures promulgated at the close of the Clinton Administration that were repealed by Congress earlier this year.

Those “concerns” are many and varied. Keith Lessner, vice president of safety and environment for the Alliance of American Insurers in Downers Grove, Ill., has identified the “major players” in the ergonomics debate as the business community, organized labor and the U.S. Congress. Other “players” with distinct viewpoints include safety and health professionals, insurance groups and scientists, Mr. Lessner said.

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