Many OSHA-watchers expect agency head John Henshaw to be among the exodus of first-term Bush administration appointees, so the OSHA chief's speech in his hometown of St. Louis the day after the President's re-election might be seen as his farewell address.

Henshaw spoke with pride about OSHA's philosophy of "strong, fair and effective enforcement," "outreach, education and compliance assistance," and "partnerships and cooperative programs."

Commenting first on enforcement — the underpinning of all OSHA does, according to Henshaw — he noted that OSHA inspections have increased by nearly ten percent from 2000 to 2004 — to more than 39,000.

As for helping safety and health pros with compliance, Henshaw touted a number of statistics: The agency offers more than 45 eTools; "QuickTakes", OSHA's email newsletter, has more than 50,000 subscribers; 50 million visitors check out OSHA's Web site annually; and the agency's toll-free helpline (1-800-321-OSHA) will handle more than 160,000 calls this year — up 17 percent in the past two years.

In terms of reaching a new level of cooperation with industry, Henshaw said that Voluntary Protection Program sites now number 1,180, up 66 percent since 2000. And alliances have grown from 11 in 2002 to more than 240.

Defying critics who bemoan the dearth of new standards, Henshaw said, "I am proud of our regulatory agenda and what we are accomplishing." He didn't mention any specific activity.