OSHA Assistant Secretary Vacancy Wears On

The American Society of Safety Professionals' Government Affairs Committee has narrowed its focus and outputs, as leaders of the committee explained during a June 4 session at Safety 2018 that indicated the continuing lack of a confirmed new leader for OSHA is preventing needed action by the agency.

SAN ANTONIO -- With more than 37,000 members, the American Society of Safety Professionals is undeniably the leading U.S. occupational safety and health professional association. Its voice speaks loudest on proposed OSH regulations and standards, enforcement policy, and nominations to lead both OSHA and NIOSH. The latter federal agency has been headed by Director Dr. John Howard for more than a decade, but OSHA is a pressing concern because it has no full-time, Senate-confirmed assistant secretary in place, 17 months into President Donald J. Trump's presidency.

During an ASSP Government Affairs Committee session on June 4 at the #Safety2018 annual conference, it was clear from Chair C. Gary Lopez, CSP, and other speakers that the long vacancy at OSHA is a growing concern. Scott Mugno of FedEx, who has been an ASSP member, was nominated months ago and has won Senate committee approval, but his confirmation hasn't 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.

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