NIOSH Calls for Work-Related Asthma Research

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					 Rules &
                      OSHA PERSONNEL
                      Barab Appointed Acting Assistant Secretary for OSHA,
                      VPP to Continue
                      Jordan Barab, a well-known labor advocate, has been appointed deputy assistant secretary and acting
                      assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. He most recently served as senior labor policy advisor for safety and
                      health with the House Education and Labor Committee.
  Hotlinks            From 1998 to 2001, Barab was special assistant to OSHA’s         OSHA Initiates Combustible
                      assistant secretary. He also worked at the U.S. Chemical
       ASSE           Safety and Hazard Investigation Board for 5 years.               Dust Rulemaking
 American Society                                                                      OSHA recently announced that it will issue an
of Safety Engineers      According to BNA’s OSH Reporter, the appointment “has       triggered speculation that he could ascend permanently to the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on
                                                                                       combustible dust. As part of that process, the
                      top job.” While Barab has denied that speculation publicly,      agency will hold stakeholder meetings to eval-
        CSB           others do not believe he is merely a “placeholder” until a per-  uate possible regulatory methods, and request
     Chemical         manent assistant secretary is named—largely because his          data and comments on issues such as hazard
  Safety & Hazard
Investigation Board   appointment was welcomed by both organized labor and             recogniztion, assessment, communication,        OSHA staff. It is also believed that if Barab is permanently     defining combustible dust and other concerns.
                      appointed, he will be a “significantly more aggressive rule-        Since 1980, more than 130 workers have
                                                                                       been killed and more than 780 injured in com-
       DHHS           maker than his predecessors under the Bush administration.”      bustible dust explosions. The Feb. 7, 2008,
 Dept. of Health         Barab has been a vocal critic of OSHA in recent years, and    explosion at an Imperial Sugar Co. plant in
& Human Services         in particular has questioned OSHA’s various voluntary pro-       Georgia prompted key congressional leaders
                      grams for employers, saying there is little evidence that these to call on OSHA to develop a standard that
                      programs are effective. In a statement before the U.S. House     addresses the occupational hazards related to
        DOE                                                                            combustible dust. The U.S. Chemical Safety
  Dept. of Energy     of Representatives Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
                                                                                       and Hazard Investigation Board has also been        on April 30, Barab said, “We need to better utilize the          urging OSHA to take regulatory action on the
                      resources that we already have. To direct more of OSHA’s         topic for more than 3 years.
        DOL           existing resources into enforcement and to provide time to
     Dept. of Labor   address conce
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