ICS Magazine

OSHA Ergonomics Rule is mired in litigation

February 6, 2001
The International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) recently announced that since OSHA’s Ergonomics Rule was published, there have been more than a dozen lawsuits have been filed challenging the controversial ergonomics standard, including the lawsuit filed by the National Coalition on Ergonomics and ISSA.

Filed by NCE/ISSA, the suit is joined by more than 60 associations and individual companies, and challenges the ergonomics standard on several grounds including the lack of medical science to support the need for such a standard. In addition, the NCE and ISSA legal challenge charges that the standard is too vague and incomprehensible, making it virtually impossible for companies to comply. The suit also challenges the legitimacy of this standard because of OSHA’s fatally flawed economic analysis, which substantially understates the economic impact on industry, the ISSA says.

Despite the flurry of lawsuits, it could be up to two years before there is any decision on the validity of the ergonomics rule. In the meantime, the ergonomics standard will go into effect as scheduled in October 2001 unless the NCE/ISSA lawsuit is successful in seeking a stay of the rule’s effective date.

The ISSA has been encouraging member companies to provide the association with letters detailing the specific type of harm they will suffer if they have to prepare to comply with the rule by its Oct. 16, 2001 deadline.