Pick Experienced Boss for OSHA, AIHA Urges Transition Team

The American Industrial Hygiene Association's president, Lindsay E. Booher, CIH, CSP, has sent a letter urging Barack Obama's Transition Team to appoint a new OSHA administrator who has at least 15 years of technical experience in occupational health and safety. "AIHA believes the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA could be one of the most important appointments of the new administration. The worker health and safety agenda is a long one and the new Assistant Secretary must be an individual able to carry out one of the major themes of the Obama-Biden campaign, that being an ability to bring diverse viewpoints together," Booher wrote Nov. 24.

His letter listed these qualifications, which the "individual chosen to lead OSHA should meet, at a minimum," it said:

  • A lifelong commitment to occupational health and safety
  • Comprehensive training in occupational health and safety
  • At least 15 years of technical experience in occupational health and safety
  • Proven management experience
  • The vision and ability to build coalitions and consensus among diverse groups to effectively promote occupational health and safety

Booher then listed results of the most recent public policy issue survey of AIHA members, who responded that their top general issues for OSHA during the Obama administration are updating the Permissible Exposure Limits, adopting the Globally Harmonized System, and nanotechnology; specific issues at the top of the members' list are a combustible dust standard, ergonomics, and safety and health programs, Booher wrote.

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