Washington, DC — March 7, 2001 — “Thanksgiving has arrived early this year with today’s House vote to kill the ergonomics rule — the most costly, invasive and convoluted regulation ever instituted by a federal agency,” said Tim Hammonds, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).

“With a price tag of billions upon billions, the rule would have done little to improve worker safety,” he said. “In fact, it would have diverted resources from proven programs that have reduced injuries dramatically.” Workplace injuries in the grocery industry declined 33 percent from 1989 to 1999, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In one example of the rule’s convoluted nature, Hammonds said, OSHA suggested that the weight of grocery bags be limited to 15 pounds — “which begs the question, How do you pack a 20-pound turkey in a 15-pound bag?”

To illustrate such flaws in the rule, FMI delivered more than 40 turkeys to members of the House and Senate before they voted on the resolution to repeal the rule.

“Industry does not need government mandates to promote workplace safety,” Hammonds said. “Safety is an essential part of doing business. In today’s highly competitive market, including low unemployment, companies have powerful incentives to look out for the welfare and safety of their employees.

“In every way, OSHA’s ergonomics rule was for the birds. But now, thanks to Congress and President Bush’s promise to sign the resolution, reason and common sense have prevailed — and this turkey is cooked.”