As we approach the beginning of another summer travel season,
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Mark V. Rosenker
reminded Americans in a press statement that a few simple safety precautions
can keep us safe while we spend time with family and friends.
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson yesterday committed to a federal leadership role in expediting the ongoing cleanup of the Michigan Dow Dioxin site and an acceleration of the Environmental Protection Agency’s overall scientific review of dioxins, according to an EPA press release.
The Obama administration is taking its time to find a permanent OSHA chief, but that’s not stopping the Department of Labor from moving quickly to try to fix programs with bureaucratic problems, or to send clear signals that some program priorities have changed from the previous administration.
In a speech May 5 to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO National Nurses Congress in Washington, DC, acting OSHA chief Jordan Barab outlined the “new OSHA” publicly for one of the few times in his short tenure.
The Obama administration has put the electric paddles to OSHA’s enforcement program after eight years of the Bush administration’s preference for cooperation and consultation. OSHA did go after the “worst actors” during the Bush years, but an across-the-board ramping up of OSHA enforcement is already underway.
At the recent International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) Executive Summit in Tucson, Ariz., Frank White, a former top OSHA aide and currently senior vice president of the consulting firm ORC Worldwide’s Washington, D.C., office, presented an up to the minute overview of what he called “Strong winds of change” – safety and health policy and legislation in the Obama era.
These articles provide background on possible new directions at OSHA, and in many cases are written by influential though leaders of a more activist OSHA, or recent Obama appointees with influence on OSHA (OMB’s regulatory czar Cass Sunstein)
You might want to go out and purchase a copy of Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health (Oxford University Press, 2008), written by Dr. David Michaels, research professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Several sources tell ISHN that Dr. Michaels is very close to being named by the Obama administration as permanent assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.