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January 18, 2017
No word yet on OSHA pick; acting chief strikes hopeful tone

While a new labor secretary has been nominated by President Elect Donald Trump, no one is talking about who might be chosen to head OSHA. Find out what the acting OSHA boss had to say about the future of the agency.

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With the departure of OSHA administrator Dr. David Michaels, it’s anybody’s guess who may be selected to replace him as assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. Andrew Puzder, Trump’s pick for labor secretary, has yet to appear before members of the Senate for confirmation hearings.

Meanwhile, speaking to BLR, acting OSHA chief Jordan Barab said he wasn’t aware of who might be selected to head the agency. Noting that under Michaels OSHA has “had a very balanced program with compliance assistance and enforcement,” Barab sounded hopeful that such an approach would continue into the Trump administration. “Regardless of party, nobody wants workers to be hurt in the workplace,” he added.

While Barab says the agency would like to see all employers comply without the need for citations and penalties, he sees enforcement as an essential element in worker protection. “If you look back over Democratic and Republican administrations, they all see a serious role for both. I hope that will continue, and that workers will continue to exercise their rights,” he added.

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