Some Don't Want Michaels' 'Change in Direction'

I believe Dr. David Michaels has excellent credentials and the right experience to be the next leader of OSHA. I expect he will be confirmed soon as the assistant secretary. But two members of our audience wrote to me late yesterday, saying he's a poor choice to lead the agency and our current online poll question should have offered a "bad choice" answer for them to voice that opinion.

I don't know why these two writers don't like him. Michaels is an epidemiologist, meaning he understands how to analyze risk factors for diseases affecting specific populations, including occupational illnesses. He helped to launch the program that still compensates nuclear weapons industry workers who were exposed to hazardous materials while engaged in that work years ago.

Michaels wrote a year ago that OSHA "badly needs a change in direction and philosophy," and he then listed four sound, much-needed objectives for OSHA:

  • Issue a workplace injury and illness prevention program rule.
  • Increase workplace health and safety capacity by significantly increasing OSHA training grants.
  • Develop an electronic recordkeeping system through which employers would report injuries in real time.
  • Start a public campaign to change how the nation thinks about workplace safety.

I support all four objectives. Where do you stand on them, and on Michaels?

Posted by Jerry Laws on Aug 04, 2009