Joseph DearAssistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels today issued the following statement on the passing of former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Joseph Dear:

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Assistant Secretary Joe Dear. While he served in many roles throughout his life, Joe was always a tireless advocate for worker safety and health.

"During his time as the ninth Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Joe made a series of lasting impacts that we are still benefitting from to this very day. He was a bold and forward-thinking leader who embraced innovation, bringing technological advancements to the agency that have revolutionized the way we do our work.

"He strove to hold employers accountable by increasing penalties for willful violations and finalized some of our most important worker protection standards for electrical power generation, construction and shipyard safety, hazard communication, and personal protective equipment.

"While the world of occupational safety and health has lost a great defender, his legacy will live on for the many years to come. Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones."

Dear's family has established a memorial scholarship in his name at The Evergreen State College, his alma mater.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit