An article has appeared on safety.blr.com that indicates a possible unhappy precedent regarding ergonomics in the workplace. Scientific studies have been done by researchers for decades that indicate the importance of ergonomics and how adhering to ergonomic principles can support employees in a healthier and more productive work experience. Which all translates, of course, to savings by the employer.
In an article entitled “State Democrats Unhappy With Bill that Would Ban Ergonomic Standards,” we learn that the Michigan House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would restrict Michigan state agencies from implementing ergonomic standards. Several state senators have expressed that they are unhappy with the legislature.
Senate Bill 20 would prohibit Michigan OSHA or other state agencies from imposing rules and regulations regarding workplace ergonomics.
“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.
He says the Legislature should be working with private sector businesses “to help them create the safest, most efficient worksites instead of passing legislation that hurts, rather than helps, our workers.”
The article goes on to report that opponents note that the state has not yet adopted ergonomic rules, and there are currently no federal ergonomic rules to supersede them.
They say that makes Senate Bill 20 “premature and unwarranted.” Senator Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor noted that injuries, compensation claims, and lost productivity result in $50 billion in losses each year. She favors ergonomic standards as a way to stem those losses and improve working conditions.
We can only hope that our law makers across the country realize the importance of the science of ergonomics, and instead of impeding the use of ergonomics will, in fact, support it. If employers are concerned about the bottom line in implementing ergonomic strategies, there are many solutions that are easy fixes and thus cost little. One such solution is simply using my ergonomic UGLee Pen. This pen allows the hand to remain relaxed while writing, thus going a long way toward preventing repetitive stress injuries in the hand.