The economic doldrums in the U.S. has thrown a very heavy wet blanket on OSHA standards-setting efforts (OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels spends more time these days explaining how OSHA regs don’t kill jobs than talking future plans). But look for ISO safety and health standards to pick up the slack in coming years as a way to harmonize regs for multinationals manufacturing in China, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, elsewhere in the Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, South America, and at an increasing pace in Africa.

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis swooped into San Antonio at the 2009 ASSE annual conference and introduced herself to safety and health pros by asserting OSHA the cop was back on the beat.

Two years on the economy still can’t get traction and the DOL Secretary’s letter of greetings and congratulations to ASSE’s 2011 meeting focuses on her vision for the DOL “to provide Good Jobs for Everyone.”

With the2012 presidential campaign off and running it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.