A Legacy of Struggle: The OSHA Ergonomics Standard and Beyond, Part I

Source: Linda Delp, Zahra Mojtahedi, Hina Sheikh, Jackie Lemus, New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, Vol. 24 No. 3, 2014
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From the abstract:
In November 2000, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an ergonomics standard to prevent debilitating work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). It was rescinded by Congress within four months. We explore how this story unfolded over two decades of collaboration and conflict. Part I provides an overview of the historical context of the struggle for a standard, followed by interviews with key players from labor, academia and government. They provide a snapshot of the standard; discuss the prevalence of WMSDs in the context of changing work organization; give insight into the role of unions and of scientific debate within the context of rulemaking; and uncover the basis for the groundbreaking OSHA citations that laid the foundation for a standard. Part II interviews further explore the anti-regulatory political landscape of the 1990s that led to repeal of the standard, discuss the impact of the struggle beyond the standard, and describe creative approaches for the future.
Related:
A Legacy of Struggle: The OSHA Ergonomics Standard and Beyond, Part II
Source: Linda Delp, Zahra Mojtahedi, Hina Sheikh, Jackie Lemus, New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, Vol. 24 No. 3, 2014
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The OSHA ergonomics standard issued in 2000 was repealed within four months through a Congressional resolution that limits future ergonomics rulemaking. This section continues the conversation initiated in Part I, documenting a legacy of struggle for an ergonomics standard through the voices of eight labor, academic, and government key informants. Part I summarized important components of the standard; described the convergence of labor activism, research, and government action that laid the foundation for a standard; and highlighted the debates that characterized the rulemaking process. Part II explores the anti-regulatory political landscape of the 1990s, as well as the key opponents, power dynamics, and legal maneuvers that led to repeal of the standard. This section also describes the impact of the ergonomics struggle beyond the standard itself and ends with a discussion of creative state-level policy initiatives and coalition approaches to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) in today’s sociopolitical context.