ASSE President Warren K. Brown Comments on Mysterious New DOL Rule Involving Job Safety
Des Plaines, IL (July 24, 2008) —
The American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) President Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM, CSHM, said this today about a new U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rule submitted recently to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) without public disclosure or review that would have a major impact on the safety of workers:
“ASSE is troubled that what should be a bipartisan effort to find meaningful ways to advance occupational safety and health is again marked by mistrust instead of better communication and cooperation. ASSE has looked at Senator Edward Kennedy and Representative George Miller’s July 10 request for more information about proposed Department of Labor rulemaking concerning the assessment of occupational health risks as well as the Department’s July 17 response to them. Without more information, it is difficult to respond.
“However, the decisions made by Congress and the DOL will impact our 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members’ ability to work with their employers to protect workers and workplaces. And in the long run could have a significant impact on workers’ families and the economy. Hence, as rules are promulgated and workplace safety improvements considered by our government, the more our members know about the decisions made impacting workplace safety and health the better. It also allows our members to participate in the process bringing to it valuable and real-time experience. Anything less than meaningful cooperation between the Administration and Congress in helping our members save lives and prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace and thus reducing needless expense is less than the best that can be done.”
Reports state the rule is titled “Requirements for DOL Agencies’ Assessment of Occupational Health Risks” and involves risk assessments used to determine unsafe exposures to certain chemicals. The timing and approach in developing this rule are raising concerns.
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 more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor and education. For more information please go to www.asse.org.