Michigan: State ergonomics standard will have costly implications, lawmaker says
Rep. Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, sent a letter to Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox asking him to decide whether the state has presented a "clear and convincing" need for the new regulations. According to Bolger, Michigan has violated the law by failing to present evidence supporting the need for a new bureaucracy.
"California is the only state in the nation with ergonomic rules stricter than what the federal government requires, and their budget deficit is the size of our entire budget, so I don't think we should be in a hurry to follow their lead," Bolger said. "Such strict new rules would cost Michigan job providers too much money, and they would have to cut things like pay, health care benefits, and even jobs."
Bolger said that implementing an ergonomics standard would come at an increased cost to the state as well and that business owners are already targeting musculoskeletal disorders specific to their industries.
"This is a combination of the governor putting the cart before the horse and adding new barriers to economic development while making it harder to keep the doors open for existing businesses," Bolger said.
Bolger said it's in the interest of employers to provide their own healthy work environment without state interference.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and business owners know that better than anyone," he said. "They are certainly positioned much better to do that in their workplace than some Lansing, Mich., bureaucrat."
Earlier this year, the state General Industry Safety Standards Commission and the Occupational Health Standards Commission voted unanimously to approve the regulations, which would make Michigan and California the only two states to adopt an ergonomics standard.
May 21, 2009
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