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American Society of Safety Engineers Comment on Michaels’ Nomination to Head OSHA

Posted in on Wed, Jul 29, 2009
Des Plaines, IL (July 29, 2009) — The 98-year-old American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), representing 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members committed to protecting people, property and the environment, comments on this week’s nomination of epidemiologist David Michaels, PhD, MPH, and research professor at the George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health and Health Services’ Department of Environmental and Occupational Health in Washington, D.C., for the position of Assistant Department of Labor Secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“We look forward to offering Dr. Michaels, if confirmed, the experience and expertise of ASSE’s member safety, health and environmental professionals to achieve the common goal ASSE and OSHA have of continuing to advance workplace safety and health,” ASSE President C. Christopher Patton, CSP, said today.

Dr. Michaels’ Congressional confirmation hearing date has yet to be set. According to reports, Dr. Michaels has been a notable advocate for workers to be compensated for health risks from chemicals and has also taken on the issue of some scientific research done for businesses, as outlined in a book he wrote titled “Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health”.

Dr. Michaels served as the U.S. Department of Energy’s assistant secretary for Environment, Safety and Health from 1998 through January 2001 during the Clinton administration before joining GWU. At GWU he directs the project on ‘Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy’ (SKAPP). While serving in the Clinton administration, he was responsible for the Labor Department-managed Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, which compensated sick workers and their relatives for illnesses caused by exposure to radiation, beryllium, and other hazards during the production of atomic weapons. Dr. Michaels also oversaw promulgation, according to the GWU, of two major public rules, Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention (10 CFR 850) and Nuclear Safety Management (10 CFR 830).

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information please go to www.asse.org.

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