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Ergonomics Plan Could Be Unveiled Next Month

March 12, 2002

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The White House could release an ergonomics proposal in mid-April.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some had expected the policy to be unveiled this week before Labor Secretary Elaine Chao testifies Thursday before the Senate labor committee. But the hearing was postponed.
The policy is expected to be a set of voluntary guidelines, according to the paper.
Controversial ergonomics regulations addressing repetitive-motion injuries were enacted during the last weeks of the Clinton Administration but were overturned after President Bush took office.
Last summer, Chao resumed the ergonomics debate by calling a series of public meetings on the issue. At the time, Chao had planned to take what was learned from these conferences and come up with a new plan by September. The attacks of Sept. 11 postponed action on the issue.
In January, Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Paul Wellstone (D-MN) sent Chao a letter, complaining that the Labor Department has not moved forward with a "comprehensive approach" to ergonomics as promised.

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