AbstractFew, if any, regulations over the past decade have received the publicity or engendered the controversy of OSHA’s ergonomics regulation. Some may see the ergonomics rule as the paradigmatic instance of procedural hurdles holding up and eventually destroying a regulation. The purpose of this article is to examine the role that procedure played in the ergonomics rulemaking. To draw lessons from the ergonomics rulemaking I have conducted analyses of the four publicly available versions and conducted interviews with seven high ranking officials at OSHA and the Small Business Administration. I find that of the procedural hurdles faced by OSHA, the notice and comment requirement had the largest impact on the final rule. OMB review and requirements to conduct a cost benefit analysis served largely as a fire alarm to political overseers and the required small business panel had largely symbolic effects. The more traditional control of Congressional budgetary oversight had the greatest effect by delaying the rule for three years which eventually doomed OSHA’s attempts to regulate.
SubjectsErgonomics, Rulemaking, Regulation, Notice and comment, Bureaucracy, Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), United States. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
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