ASSE Urges President Bush to Act on Nominations at Key Safety Agencies

August 17, 2005

American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) President Jack Dobson Jr. has urged President George Bush to move forward in appointing heads of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) as well as members to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). ASSE urged the President to move these appointments forward in time for Congress to consider them on its return from recess.

“ASSE is deeply concerned that, since the beginning of your second term of office, leadership positions in each of these key agencies remain unfilled when numerous highly qualified individuals, including safety, health and environmental professionals recommended by ASSE, are eager to fill those positions,” Dobson wrote. “With eight months of your second term already past, every day that these positions remain unfilled makes it increasingly difficult for someone to provide meaningful leadership in the limited time left until the end of your term in office.”

Dobson also noted that ASSE is particularly concerned that a crucial need for CSB board members has been overlooked.

“Of the five positions on the board, two are unfilled,” Dobson said. “At CSB, board members involve themselves in the hands-on work of analyzing workplace chemical accidents and then warning industry of the risks and lessons learned from their investigations to help industry avoid making similar mistakes. Less than a full board could mean a delay in sharing this life-saving information.”

Early in the year, ASSE provided the Administration with suggestions of individuals qualified to fill these positions. While ASSE would like to see the Administration consider its recommendations, Dobson noted, ASSE’s greater concern is that these positions are filled from the variety of capable safety, health and environmental professionals who have expressed their willingness to serve the Administration.

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