H.R.987 - Workplace Preservation Act106th Congress (1999-2000)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Blunt, Roy [R-MO-7] (Introduced 03/04/1999)|
|Committees:||House - Education and the Workforce | Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions|
|Committee Reports:||H. Rept. 106-272|
|Latest Action:||Senate - 08/04/1999 Received in the Senate and read twice and referred to the Committee on HELP. (All Actions)|
|Roll Call Votes:||There has been 1 roll call vote|
This bill has the status Passed House
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- Passed House
Text: H.R.987 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)
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Referred in Senate (08/04/1999)
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 987 Referred in Senate (RFS)] 1st Session H. R. 987 _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES August 4, 1999 Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To require the Secretary of Labor to wait for completion of a National Academy of Sciences study before promulgating a standard or guideline on ergonomics. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Workplace Preservation Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. (a) Congress finds the following: (1) The Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that it plans to propose regulations during 1999 to regulate ``ergonomics'' in the workplace. A draft of OSHA's ergonomics regulation became available in January 1999. (2) A July, 1997, report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reviewing epidemiological studies that have been conducted of ``work related musculoskeletal disorders of the neck, upper extremity, and low back'' showed that there is insufficient evidence to assess the level of risk to workers from repetitive motions. Such characterization would be necessary to write an efficient and effective regulation. (3) An August 1998, workshop on ``work related musculoskeletal injuries'' held by the National Academy of Sciences also reviewed existing research on musculoskeletal disorders. It also showed that there is insufficient evidence to assess the level of risk to workers from repetitive motions. (4) The risk of OSHA imposing a ``solution'' to ailments and disorders that are grouped as ``repetitive stress injuries'' and ``musculoskeletal disorders'' before sufficient information about the diagnosis, causes, and prevention of such injuries and disorders is shown by the fact that such disorders have often increased in workplaces and industries in which OSHA has focused ergonomics-related enforcement actions under the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, while such disorders have been decreasing in workplaces generally. (5) In October, 1998, Congress and the President agreed upon a comprehensive study by the National Academy of Science of the medical and scientific evidence regarding musculoskeletal disorders. The study is intended to evaluate the basic questions about diagnosis and causes of such disorders. Given the level of uncertainty and dispute about these basic questions, and Congress' intention that they be addressed in a comprehensive study by the National Academy of Science, it is premature for OSHA to decide that a regulation on ergonomics is necessary or appropriate to improving workers' health and safety before such study is completed. (6) The estimated costs of OSHA's proposed ergonomics regulation range from OSHA's low national estimate of $20,000,000,000 to some single industry costs of $18,000,000,000 to $30,000,000,000. Any regulation with this potential impact on the Nation's economy merits a sound scientific and medical foundation. SEC. 3. DELAY OF STANDARD OR GUIDELINE. The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, may not promulgate or issue any standard or guideline on ergonomics until the National Academy of Sciences-- (1) completes a peer-reviewed scientific study of the available evidence examining a cause and effect relationship between repetitive tasks in the workplace and musculoskeletal disorders or repetitive stress injuries; and (2) submits to Congress a report setting forth the findings resulting from such study. Passed the House of Representatives August 3, 1999. Attest: JEFF TRANDAHL, Clerk. By Martha C. Morrison, Deputy Clerk.