- March 7 - Ralph Nader today urged the
House of Representatives to defeat efforts to wipe out occupational
safety regulations which protect workers from crippling ergonomic
Nader described the Senate's defeat of the regulations last night
as a "shameful surrender to a heavy handed campaign by corporate
lobbyists and campaign donors."
"It is now up to the House to ensure that a decade of efforts to
provide protection for the 600,000 workers who suffer painful
repetitive strain and back injuries on the job every year will not
lost," Nader said.
Nader said President Bush's support of the corporate campaign
against the protections was a "sad commentary on the priorities of
the new Administration."
"When faced with the demands of the big business community, the
President's claims of 'compassionate conservatism' become farcical,"
Nader said. "This is a prime example of how dangerous the growing
political power of corporations has become when critical health and
safety needs of workers can be so summarily dismissed by the
Nader said the new rules drafted and approved by the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) were the minimum needed to
protect workers from ergonomic injuries caused by heavy lifting,
repetitive work and poorly designed jobs. The rules require employers
to train workers, find and fix job hazards and provide medical
evaluations to injured workers.
Nader said the lobbyists for the business interests had "wildly
exaggerated" the cost of compliance with the ergonomic injury rules.
Nader said it was the responsibility of the employers to bear the
costs of injury prevention in the workplace, rather than saddling
employees with the financial and physical costs of treatment.