A former vice president of employee relations for the American Iron and Steel Institute, Visscher has significant experience dealing with labor and OSHA issues. From July 1999 through November 2000 he served as a Commissioner on the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, and was one of three members of the independent commission that reviewed OSHA citations and penalties that were contested by companies. Prior to this he served in Congressional staff positions from 1983-1999, including a stint as Workforce Policy Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce from 1989-1999.
In announcing the appointment, OSHA head John Henshaw said, "His valuable experience on Capitol Hill, as well as his long history of involvement with safety and health issues, will strengthen and improve the operation of OSHA and help the agency do a better job of protecting American workers and employers."
R. Davis Layne will continue as Deputy Assistant Secretary overseeing regional operations and the Directorates of Compliance, Construction, Administrative Programs, and the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Programs.