HELP Committee May Take Up Mugno Nomination

President Donald J. Trump nominated Mugno, who was vice president for Safety, Sustainability and Vehicle Maintenance at FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, Pa., to be the head of OSHA on Oct. 27, 2017. The failure of the U.S. Senate to confirm him for well over a year has puzzled many safety professionals and their professional organizations.

An executive session hearing by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee that was to take place on Feb. 5 has been postponed, according to information on the committee's website. The hearing, if it takes place, could restart Congress' long-delayed confirmation of Scott Mugno to head OSHA.

The committee's description of the hearing on nominations that were to be considered lists Mugno's nomination to be assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. It also lists the nominations of:

  • William Beach to be commissioner of Labor Statistics within DOL
  • Cheryl Stanton to be administrator of the Wage and Hour Division within DOL
  • John P. Pallasch to be assistant secretary of Labor for Employment and Training
  • Mary Anne Carter to be chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Robert L. King to be assistant secretary for Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education

The hearing was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

President Donald J. Trump nominated Mugno, who was vice president for Safety, Sustainability and Vehicle Maintenance at FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, Pa., to be the head of OSHA on Oct. 27, 2017. The failure of the U.S. Senate to confirm him for well over a year has puzzled many safety professionals and their professional organizations. During an ASSP Government Affairs Committee session on June 4, 2018, at the ASSP annual conference, it was clear from Chair C. Gary Lopez, CSP, and other speakers that the long vacancy at OSHA was a growing concern. Mugno's nomination by then had still not come up for a vote in the full Senate. Jim Thornton of the ASSP Council on Professional Affairs commented during the session that getting an assistant secretary of OSHA confirmed is vital to start moving needed federal occupational safety and health actions forward.

The American Trucking Associations' president, Chris Spear, issued a statement congratulating Mugno following his nomination in October 2017. The statement said Mugno had served on or headed several key ATA policy committees, including the Safety Policy Committee, Labor and Regulatory Affairs Policy Committee, the Hazardous Materials Committee, the Hours-of-Service Subcommittee, and the Ergonomics Subcommittee, and he was at that time the chairman of the American Transportation Research Institute's Research Advisory Committee.

Mugno previously was managing director for FedEx Express Corporate Safety, Health and Fire Protection in Memphis, Tenn., and his responsibilities in both those positions included developing, promoting, and facilitating the safety and health program and culture, according to the White House text of the 2017 announcement. It said Mugno twice received FedEx's highest honor, the FedEx Five Star Award, for his safety leadership at FedEx Express.

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