Oppose Attempts to Impose Ergonomic/Musculoskeletal Disorder Regulations on the Construction Industry
- OSHA recognizes that construction operations are unique: work conditions (in contrast to a fixed-site facility) are ever evolving and changing; the workforce is transient and often workers are working for numerous employers throughout the year. Workers are performing multiple tasks throughout the day for varying durations. OSHA also recognizes that it has not been able to fully comprehend ergonomics or musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) problems in construction, and, therefore, they have not developed any sound solutions or science in the cause of effect to alleviate any potential problems.
- Cost to Construction Industry Would be Indeterminable. The unique nature of construction would make identifying and complying with the regulations especially burdensome. When considering the impact on workers' compensation costs and administrative controls, the cost would increase significantly. Contractors could inherit workers with non-occupational risk factors or pre-existing injuries and be forced to compensate them for these injuries.
- Federalizing State Worker's Compensation Laws Increase Costs. If the ergonomics standard contained a "worker restriction protection" provision, which would federalize a portion of state workers, the costs for compensating injuries would increase. This provision would raise direct compensation costs and decrease productivity and could undermine the no-fault workers' compensation system, which serves employers and workers as a safety net for occupation injuries and would interfere with complex state workers' compensation programs.
- Use an "Industry Approach" to Injury Prevention. AGC supports a "non-government" solution to injury prevention and working with all stakeholders to identify and eliminate injury problems in the construction industry. OSHA should focus on the four major causes of injuring in construction: falls, electrocutions, struck by equipment or falling objects, and caught by or in-between equipment, trenches, etc. These are obvious industry priorities to safety and OSHA should focus its efforts by assisting employer in preventing serious injuries and fatalities with known solutions.