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OSHA’s longest-serving careerist may be leaving

November 8, 2012
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Richard FairfaxThis would be Richard Fairfax, currently deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

Fairfax has worked in numerous positions at the agency since joining in 1980. One source who knows Fairfax says he is the longest-serving careerist at OSHA. Pat Tyson, an attorney and former OSHA chief, says, “He holds the place together. He is the glue, running day to day operations. His hours are incredibly long and stressful. He is eligible to retire, and I’m afraid  he might do it. If he leaves, it will be a disaster, and you can quote me on that.”

Fairfax should know the agency inside and out. As deputy assistant secretary, Fairfax is responsible for supervision of the work of OSHA’s 10 Regional Offices across the country and the Directorates of Enforcement and Construction.

Immediately prior to this position, Fairfax served as the Director of Enforcement Programs and Acting Director of Construction Programs for OSHA. A certified industrial hygienist, he has worked for OSHA for 32 years as a field industrial hygienist, regional industrial hygienist and as a senior industrial hygienist before becoming Director of Enforcement Programs.

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