OSHA leaders to safety pros: "We're back."

OSHA Healthcare Connection, July 7, 2009

“The Department of Labor is back in the enforcement business,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis to about 4,000 occupational safety, health, and environmental professionals last week at the American Society of Safety Engineers’(ASSE) conference in San Antonio, TX.

The Secretary pointed to the proposed 2010 budget of $1.7 billion as one indicator that the Department of Labor is “ready to get to work,” according to an ASSE news release.

In the new budget, $50.6 million is allocated for OSHA, allowing for the hiring of at least 130 more inspectors and a 10% increase in the number of inspections, Solis said.

Also at the conference, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab addressed the subject of ergonomics, calling it the “60,000-pound elephant in the room,” reported Environment Health and Safety Today, June 29.

Acknowledging the subject stirs up considerable political debate, Barab says he is inviting the safety profession to join the team to solve the problem and “move beyond destructive politics,” according to the report.

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