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National Restaurant Association Decries Implementation of New Ergonomics Regulations

November 20, 2000

New regulations will cost restaurants and other small businesses time, resources with little effect on worker safety

November 14, 2000

Contact: Kristin Nolt 202-331-5964, Michael Mount 202-331-5902

Washington, DC — The National Restaurant Association today blasted the implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) new ergonomic standards for workplace safety as "bureaucratic madness," saying the rushed regulations will have grave ramifications for the nation's 831,000 restaurant locations.

"We vehemently oppose the decision by OSHA to impose costly and bureaucratic workplace regulations that will negatively impact not only the nation's restaurants, but virtually every business and job in the nation," said Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association. "These sweeping regulations, and how they impact small, diverse businesses such as restaurants, place a dire economic burden on employers without ensuring that jobs will be safer for employees."

"As we have said time and time again, these rules will cost restaurants a great deal of time and money in record keeping, training and workplace reconfiguration - all of which could be for naught: the standards are not based upon science. It is ludicrous for the Administration to force a one-size-fits-all ergonomics standard on all employers and jobs before determining if there is a need for it."

"Moreover, these rules do not take into account industry efforts. Thanks to increased restaurant industry awareness and initiatives, workplace injuries in the nation's eating and drinking places are at an all-time low - making restaurants one of the safest places to work, according to the Department of Labor. For these many reasons, it is our hope that Congress intervenes once and for all to stop this bureaucratic madness until we have data to support the need for government regulations in this area," Anderson said.

The National Restaurant Association aggressively opposes OSHA's decision to implement these broad regulations until additional studies and a clearly defined group of workers are identified for these national standards.

The National Restaurant Association is a member of the National Coalition on Ergonomics, which is challenging the rule in court. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), one of the coalition leaders, filed a petition for review - on its own behalf and in the interests of the broader business community - in the U.S. Court of Appeals on the grounds that the regulation "is unsound procedurally, scientifically and legally."

Source: National Restaurant Association

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