OSHA chief John Henshaw wants his agency to play an active role in homeland security, but so far it's a sketchy one. And there's no money behind it. The Bush administration did not earmark specific funds for homeland security in the OSHA fiscal 2003 budget. EPA received more than $124 million for homeland security issues.
One area OSHA might get into is evacuation planning, said Henshaw at a recent meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health. "That's kind of weird, not what I expected," says one OSHA watcher in Washington. "It looks like OSHA will mostly react to what other agencies might need."
The agency has designated Dr. Jack Longmire, an occupational medicine physician in OSHA's Office of Occupational Medicine, to coordinate homeland security issues. Longmire will work with other federal agencies to plan protections against future terrorist attacks and respond to disasters.