In order to accommodate more than 300 requests from individuals and organizations that want to testify, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has added an extra week to its schedule of public hearings on proposed ergonomics standards.

The proposed new rules would require employers to come up with programs aimed at reducing musculoskeletal disorders. They would apply to all manufacturing and manual handling operations, including jobs that require a lot of lifting. Other jobs would be added if problems are identified.
The proposal was published last November and the comment period has been extended to March 2, 2000. Public hearings are now scheduled for March 13-April 7 and May 8-12 in Washington, D.C., April 11-21 in Chicago, and April 24-May 3 in Portland, OR. More information is available on the OSHA web site.