FYI from Missouri Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Guidelines, not rules, will improve ergonomics

On April 5, a year after President Bush and Congress repealed the burdensome ergonomics regulations issued in the final days of the Clinton administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new ergonomics plan, which focuses on training and voluntary guidelines.

Under the plan, within six months OSHA will develop safety and injury-prevention guidelines specific to industries and job tasks. Industries also will be encouraged to set additional ergonomic guidelines as needed. OSHA will offer training and training grants, particularly for small businesses and their employees, to help establish safe work settings. Special focus will be placed on Hispanic and other immigrant workers in jobs that have high hazard risks.

OSHA will provide courses at its 12 education centers to develop and utilize distance learning to make training materials available to a wider audience. For more information on the new ergonomic plan, check out OSHA's website at www.osha.gov, or contact JoBeth Cholmondeley, Missouri's regional ergonomics coordinator, at 816-426-5861.

Missouri Tourism and Lottery "Explore Missouri"

The Missouri Division of Tourism and the Missouri Lottery have teamed up to launch "Explore Missouri," a $2 scratcher game and promotion that features Missouri products and destinations as the top prizes. Players will have an opportunity to win one of five 2002 Ford Explorers as the grand prize through the scratcher game. The Ford Explorer is assembled at the Ford plant in Hazelwood.

The "Explore Missouri" game also offers a second-chance opportunity in which non-winning tickets can be entered to win an all-expense-paid trip to a Missouri destination of their choice. The "Explore Missouri" campaign will achieve two objectives that benefit Missouri. First, proceeds from the sale of tickets are earmarked for the state's public education fund, and second, the travel destinations promote Missouri as a desirable travel option and will encourage Missourians to rediscover the state through travel.

Last year, the total economic impact of the tourism industry to Missouri was $12.9 billion, according to a recent division news release. The release also reports that the Missouri Lottery contributed $156 million for public education programs. It is anticipated that the new game and cross-promotion will generate additional funds and awareness on what Missouri has to offer in travel an entertainment.

Broadcast fax protected by First Amendment.

A federal district court judge in St. Louis has ruled that the federal statute banning "broadcast faxes" violates the First Amendment, reported the "Missouri Lawyers Weekly" in April. In State ex rel. Nixon v. American Blast Fax, Inc. et al., the government argued in support of the federal prohibition that unsolicited faxes shift advertising costs to the recipient and also tie up fax machines. However, the court said these interests were not substantial and therefore did not support an abridgment of free speech.

"Defendants offer a variety of alternatives, including a national "no-fax" database similar to those being utilized for telephone solicitations," said Senior Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Sr. "This alternative would promote the government's interest, yet be less intrusive to First Amendment rights. "

Is your business on fast track?

"Inc. Magazine" seeks nominations for the 2002 Inc. 500, the annual ranking of the fastest growing, private companies. Past Inc. 500 companies include Microsoft, Timberland, Jenny Craig and Jiffy Lube. The application deadline is May 26, 2002. For an overview of the Inc. 500 and to download an application, visit www.inc.com/inc500.

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