KCMA Criticizes OSHA Proposal On Ergonomics

by WOHe

KCMA Criticizes OSHA Proposal On Ergonomics

Reston, VA The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association has
criticized a proposed new ergonomics regulation published by the
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), charging
that the proposed new code would “threaten” the economic health of
cabinet manufacturers.

The KCMA issued its criticism of the proposed regulation in
Nov-ember, calling the proposal “vague and unclear,” and asserting
that the scientific evidence supporting OSHA’s position is
“inconclusive” (see related Editorial, Page 7).”It is very
frustrating to see that OSHA has elected to ignore the intent of
the majority of Congress by pushing forward a vague and unclear
proposal covering over 27 million workers before the scientific
basis for the rule is resolved,” said KCMA executive v.p. Dick
Titus.

Under the proposed regulation, one musculoskeletal disorder
reported in a workplace requires employers to establish a
comprehensive ergonomics program and compensate employees who lose
time at work recovering from an ergonomic injury at 90% pay and
100% benefits for up to six months, Titus said.

“This is a much greater rate than existing worker compensation
laws, and the burden of this on small business and all
manufacturers is much greater than any estimate OSHA has produced,”
Titus stated.

He noted that as a result of voluntary efforts by KCMA members
and other employers in the cabinet industry, the number of reported
musculoskeletal injuries among factory workers “actually has shown
steady decline in recent years.”

Titus charged that OSHA is exhibiting a “significant lack of
understanding about the true impact of the regulation” on cabinet
manufacturers, who typically operate production facilities with
staffs made up of fewer than 20 employees.

He added that the “weight” of the regulation will inevitably
“fall most heavily on those small businesses that typically have
the least flexibility in purchasing expensive new machinery and in
making expensive changes in their manufacturing process.”

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