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Motion Commotion

Changes in OSHA's final ergonomics rule fail to satisfy small businesses.

This story appears in the February 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

OSHA issued its final rule on ergonomics in November. Although the agency tried to smooth out some of the rough edges from last year's proposal, business groups complain the final rule has too many splinters. So the National Coalition on Ergonomics, an alliance of associations and businesses representing employers, filed a lawsuit to stop implementation of the rule, which forces companies to revise the way employees perform physically stressful jobs involving excessive amounts of repetitive motion.

Small-business groups were particularly irked because there are no small-business exemptions in the final rule. Damon Dozier, director of government and public affairs for National Small Business United (NSBU), says his group and other small-business representatives aren't against worker protection, particularly because entre-preneurs gen-erally hire relatives and friends. Rather, he is concerned that OSHA doesn't have the scientific backing to go forward with this rule.

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