Focus Point - OSHA on the Warpath

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. If you own a business, beware. OSHA's on the regulatory warpath again.

Last year, OSHA proposed workplace rules that are wacky even for the outfit that wanted to visit people's homes to make sure at-home workers weren't endangering themselves. According to the Wall Street Journal, the new rules create a wholly new class of injuries called -- brace yourself -- "work-related musculoskeletal disorders." If even OSHA admits they'll cost industry $5 billion a year, can you imagine what the real cost will be. United Parcel, for one, figures compliance would cost more than the company's annual net income. Warehouse owners say they'd have to remove all items from bottom shelves to guard against back injuries. The rules would affect 93 million workers.

OSHA's racing to put out a final version of the rules before Bill Clinton leaves office, even though its own officials admit they're flawed and need significant revision.

Here's hoping somebody at OSHA throws his back out, and the rules with it.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, the real story on Texas health care.