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Protecting Worker's Alliance Sends Recommendations to Obama Administration on OSHA & NIOSH Leadership

The National COSH and its allied organizations in the Protecting Workers Alliance sent a letter today to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and the Obama Administration with recommendations regarding appointments to the top leadership positions in OSHA, NIOSH, and MSHA.

The full text of the Alliance's press statement follows:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2009

NATIONAL WORKER SAFETY ADVOCATES SEND RECOMMENDATIONS ON OSHA, NIOSH LEADERSHIP TO OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

The Protecting Workers Alliance sent a letter today to the Obama administration with its recommendations for candidates to fill leadership positions at OSHA, MSHA and NIOSH. The Alliance is a recently formed coalition of worker safety and health advocates that includes the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health and its 20 local affiliate organizations; the Occupational Health and Safety Section of American Public Health Association; and United in Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities (USMWF).

“We need a total change of direction for worker safety and health in this country and we need it fast. It is time to put in place a new leadership team that will put workers first and will take the bold steps needed to prevent workplace tragedies from happening” said Tammy Miser, Executive Director of USMWF.

The Alliance recommended that the following criteria be considered in looking to fill the leadership positions at OSHA, MSHA and NIOSH:

  • Strong professional qualifications in the field of occupational safety and health.
  • Experience with the major issues and problems the agency faces including standard setting, enforcement, education and training,
  • The technical as well as political experience necessary to direct a complex federal agency.
  • The vision to lead the agency in new ways that expands the community of stakeholders to the public and puts workers first in its approach.

The Alliance submitted to the administration a list of recommended candidates for top level positions at OSHA and NIOSH that included the following: Robert Harrison MD, MPH; Linda Rae Murray MD, MPH; David Michaels, PhD, MPH; Michael Silverstein MD, MPH; Jordan Barab; Frank Mirer PhD, CIH; and Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH .

In January of this year, the Alliance issued a platform of recommendations entitled “Protecting Workers on the Job: Seven Priorities for Federal Action in 2009.” The platform is available at www.coshnetwork.org/node/145.

“We are constantly reminded by the faces of workers who have lost their lives due to workplace negligence and criminal inaction,” said Tolle Graham, Chair of the National COSH. “With Workers Memorial Day coming up on April 28 we ask the new leadership to act quickly to bring real change to protect workers health and safety on the job.”

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Contacts:
Tom O'Connor, Coordinator, National COSH (919) 933-6322
Tammy Miser: Executive Director, USMWF – 859-338-9144
Peter Dooley MS, CIH, CSP Program, APHA OHS Section – 734-320-5160

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