East meets West: Labor Dept., Chinese officials discuss worker safety and health
Chinese workplace safety and health officials last month hosted the first U.S.-China Workplace Safety and Health Dialogue in Beijing. The historic conference brought together officials from China’s State Administration of Work Safety to exchange ideas and information about protecting workers on both sides of the Pacific. OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels presented an overview of workplace safety and health standards and compliance assistance in the United States. He spoke about the importance of understanding and shaping modern worker safety and health programs and their added benefits to trade and economic growth. Bill Perry of OSHA's Directorate of Standards and Guidance also presented; he addressed current OSHA strategies to reduce or eliminate toxic and hazardous substance hazards.
The dialogue was co-chaired by SAWS Vice Minister Sun Huashan and Mark Mittlehauser, Associate Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for the Bureau of International Labor Affairs. The conference celebrated ten years of previous cooperation on coal mine safety and health, with Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph Main delivering remarks. This year’s conference marked the beginning of efforts to move beyond mining and forge a way forward on collaborating to protect workers in other industries.