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MARCH 7, 2001
11:41 AM
CONTACT:  Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader, 202-387-8034
Ralph Nader Urges House to Uphold OSHA Health and Safety Rules
WASHINGTON - 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 injuries.

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 be 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 Congress."

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.


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