Bush Signs Off on Ergonomics Repeal

On Tuesday, March 20, President George W Bush signed a repeal of an OSHA ergonomics rule that targeted repetitive strain injuries in the workplace. However, opponents feared the bill would be both ineffectual and costly to implement.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had estimated a cost to all businesses of $4.5 billion, but that was considered a gross underestimate by many industry officials. The agency also estimated the rule would save $9 billion a year by reducing injuries and time away from work.

The American Trucking Associations estimated the rule would have cost the trucking industry alone $6.5 billion a year.

The president signed the repeal after the Senate and House voted March 6 and March 7, respectively, to reverse the regulation issued by former President Bill Clinton at the time he was leaving office. The Senate voted 56-44 while the House voted 223-206.

The issue is expected to be returned to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao for further consideration.

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