The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has praised the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) decision to issue a final rule enacting new nationwide repetitive stress standards.
"For years, many workers have been afraid to disclose the fact that they have developed a musculoskeletal disorder for fear of losing their job," said LaMont Byrd, director of the Teamsters safety and health department. "Those workers will now have an outlet to come forward, receive treatment, and continue being productive in the workplace."
The ergonomics standards will take effect in January, and businesses will have until October 2001 to be in full compliance.
The Teamsters said that ergonomics protections, despite having been extensively studied for the better part of the past two decades, were not seriously considered for nationwide implementation until the 1990s.
"It's been 10 years and millions of injuries," said James P Hoffa, general president of the Teamsters. "We welcome the new ergonomics standard and will work hard to fill the gaps."