A New Leader is Nominated to Take Control of OSHA
California workplace safety chief, Doug Parker, is taking the reigns to lead OSHA to success regarding a COVID-19 workplace safety standard.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Apr 13, 2021
The White House said California Workplace Safety Chief, Doug Parker, will soon lead OSHA. The role took an outsize importance due to the pandemic as the administration is weighing whether to issue a standard to create a set of COVID-19 safety regulations, according to an article.
President Biden campaigned on issuing an emergency standard immediately. However, the president originally directed his Labor Department by March 15th whether or not it was necessary. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said the agency is still determining if a standard is needed.
Parker leads California’s Division of OSH and previously worked at the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) during the Obama Administration. According to the White House, he also began his career as an attorney at the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).
Safety experts supported Parker’s nomination, referencing his plans on monitoring workplace COVID-19 safety risks.
"Doug gets the importance of an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19 and strong enforcement for violators," said Debbie Berkowitz an adviser at OSHA during the Obama administration.
David Michaels, former OSHA chief during the Obama administration, added that Parker's work is carved out for him.
“He faces a very difficult challenge,” said Michaels. “COVID is a massive worker safety crisis, and OSHA has not even been permitted to issue an Emergency Standard.”