President Bush has designated Horace A. “Topper” Thompson, III to serve as Chairman of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC), an independent Federal adjudicatory agency that decides appeals of OSHA citations resulting from workplace inspections.
Thompson joined the Commission in June of last year. A life-long resident of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Thompson’s 38-year career as an attorney has concentrated on labor and employment law, with a focus on occupational safety and health law.
From 2002 through 2006, Thompson served as co-chair of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group of the law firm of Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis and held a resident position in the firm’s Gulfport, Miss., and New Orleans offices.
Prior to that, he co-founded the New Orleans-based labor relations and employment law firm of McCalla Thompson Pyburn & Ridley and from 1980 through 2002 participated as a member of its management committee.
From 1979 to 1984, he served as management co-chair of the Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee American Bar Section on Labor and Employment Law.
During his nomination process to the OSHRC last year, Thompson stated that OSHA should issue more standards and stop relying so much on the General Duty Clause. He also acknowledged that ergonomic injuries are real injuries but stopped short of calling for a special ergonomics standard.