American Society of Safety Engineers Satisfied with New OSHA Head

March 16, 2006

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) said it is pleased that the U.S. Senate has confirmed a new Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). ASSE welcomed Edwin Foulke as the new OSHA Administrator and said it looks forward to working with him and OSHA staff in continuing to advance this nation’s commitment to the safety and health of workers in workplaces across the nation.

“A strong, aggressive OSHA that can also reach out in cooperative efforts with industry and our members, as it has under recent leadership, is needed if we can continue to improve efforts to make sure workers get home safe and healthy each and every day,” said Jack Dobson, Jr. “Assistant Secretary Foulke faces a challenge, coming in with so little time left in this Administration. We urge him to reach out to the expertise and experience of ASSE’s members as he undertakes his responsibilities.

“He has had a successful career dealing with safety and health issues, especially in leading the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. ASSE believes his experience can prove beneficial in managing the detailed challenges facing OSHA in moving forward enforcement efforts and its regulatory agenda,” Dobson said.

OSHA has a duty to advance this nation’s occupational safety and health standards, Dobson noted. It needs to provide national leadership in global harmonization, preparing for a future that will be dominated by nanotechnology, and in finding better ways to manage the risks of crystalline silica, lead in construction, assigned protection factors, employer payment for personal protective equipment, hearing conservation for construction workers and other issues for which the safety and health community seeks agreement in direction.

“Our members know that if enforcement were the only tool they used to achieve safety and health in the workplace, the best safety and health could not be achieved,” Dobson noted. “Safety and health professionals educate both employees and their employers on the positive impact these programs have and encourage and reward those whose lives they work to protect. So OSHA’s cooperative efforts are important, too, including ASSE’s valued Alliance with OSHA and our work together in advocating for the upcoming North American Occupational Safety and Health Week this April 30- May 6.”

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