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David Michaels Confirmed to Head OSHA

David Michaels

On December 3rd, David Michaels was voted and confirmed by the Senate to become the new Assistant Secretary at OSHA, with Jordan Barab continuing to be the deputy assistant secretary.

David Michaels, nominated by President Obama in July, is an epidemiologist and research professor at the George Washington University School of Public and Health Services.  According to an article published by SHRMS, Michaels created a program in 2000 to compensate nuclear weapons workers who have developed occupational illnesses as a result of working with hazardous materials on the job.

Amongst his many other notable credentials, Michaels served as a contributor to the public health and occupational safety blog, The Pump Handle.

What does Michaels’ confirmation mean to the occupational community?

Michaels is a proponent for more government regulation. Under Michaels’ leadership, OSHA will elevate their regulations with greater enforcement and disciplinary actions.

Michaels is also an activist in ergonomic reform. In a report delivered to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in 2007, David Michaels stated that OSHA is ‘not working for people’ when it comes to ergonomic hazards. He said, “Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are by far the leading cause of workplace injuries, yet there is no OSHA standard to protect workers from the hazard of poorly-designed work settings. Ergonomic injuries cost emloyers $15-$20 billion annually in workers’ compensation claims alone, yet this number one workplace safety and health problem is not even mentioned in OSHA’s most recent regulatory agenda.”

In order to protect employees from injury, InjuryFree acknowledges the need for regulation in the workplace, however we also understand that it can be costly to an employer. Our solutions are crafted to help in the prevention of injuries before they happen and keep you in compliance with OSHA and other regulatory agencies.

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