Posted with permission from Confined Space, a newsletter of workplace safety and labor issues.

Loren Sweatt, Senior Policy Advisor for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will reportedly be named Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. Pending a nomination and confirmation of an Assistant Secretary (rumored to be Scott Mugno from FedEx), Sweatt will be the OSHA’s highest official and in effect (if not in name) Acting Assistant Secretary. Sweatt has worked for the Ed and Workforce/Labor Committee since 2002. From 1995 until 2002, she was a lobbyist for the Associated General Contractors. The political Deputy job does not have to be confirmed by the Senate.

This will be the second administration in a row that has drawn from the Education and Workforce (formerly Education and Labor) committee to staff OSHA’s top position pending the confirmation of an Assistant Secretary. Jordan Barab (the same) also came from the committee where he had been serving as Senior Policy Advisor from 2007 to April 2009, when he became Acting Assistant Secretary until Dr. David Michaels was confirmed in December 2009. Barab continued as Deputy Assistant Secretary until noon, January 20, 2017. Michaels and Barab were both the longest serving OSHA officials in their respective positions.

Tom Galassi, Director of Enforcement Programs, is currently OSHA’s acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, and the agency’s highest official.

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