Sources in Washington tell ISHN that Dr. David Michaels, head of OSHA, has expressed his interest to close associates for staying on for a second term, should President Obama win the fall election.

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Dr. David Michaels

If it happens, it will be the first time in OSHA’s 42-year-history that the head of the agency has stayed on for a second four-year term.

Dr. John Howard has headed NIOSH under two different administrations, service six years for George Bush (2002-2008) and coming up on four years for Barack Obama (2009 to present).

According to sources, the White House sent out a notice several week ago asking agency heads to signal if they planned to leave their position before the end of President Obama’s first term According to sources, Dr. Michaels gave no such indication.

Sources say Dr. Michaels genuinely enjoys his job at OSHA, and might want to stay on to tend to unfinished business, such as publishing a proposal on the controversial Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (I2P2). Even if I2P2 reaches the proposal stage, it will likely be years before final action is taken. I2P2 currently is beginning a 120-day Small Business Panel Review, a requirement of the regulatory process.

It is not Dr. Michaels’ call alone that will decide if he stays on. The Labor Secretary, whether the current DOL chief Hilda Solis stays on, or a new DOL chief takes over, will select agency heads in a second Obama term.

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Dr. John Howard

If Dr, Michaels departs from OSHA, it is widely assumed he will return to George Washington University.2