Chronicling OSHA in 2007

Occupational Hazard.com's exclusive series, Chronicling OSHA in 2007, took a close look at OSHA's victories, challenges and failures through the eyes of industry stakeholders. Here's what some of them had to say.

Congressional Oversight:

“The threat of congressional action on diacetyl is, I believe, the only reason OSHA began the standard setting process. I think the Congressional oversight has probably played a role pushing OSHA to issue the long-delayed PPE standards.”
-Dr. David Michaels, occupational health expert at George Washington University

“[Congressional oversight] has definitely helped and will continue to be helpful. It has called attention to issues that have not gotten much attention in the past.”
- Scott Schneider, director of occupational safety and health of Labor, Health and Safety Fund

“I really thought with the Democrats taking over that they were going to have OSHA up there trying to justify everything they were doing with compliance assistance and alliance programs and the partnerships. I was surprised that not more of that was held.”
- Aaron Trippler, director of government affairs for the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)

Standard Setting:

“OSHA has to have a presence that helps everyone in the safety field … and they should be very present to let folks [companies and workers] know that they are there and serious about standards and compliance. Also, OSHA has a responsibility to use its reputation as a safety and health agency as a way to motivate employers to comply.”
- Charles Jeffress, former OSHA Administrator, currently chief administrative officer for the Legal Services Corp.

OSHA vs. EU:

“Here we [U.S.] are entering 2008 and we have seen nothing. We have put out some little advanced notice for some comments on the hazcom [standard] dealing with GHS, and that's it.”
-Aaron Trippler, AIHA

“A lot of people … agreed that the EU had a much more integrated and collaborative approach to safety and health and is ahead of OSHA. The United States tends to get stuck because no one agrees on anything. And we have these old standards that we are enforcing.”
- Frank White, senior vice president of ORC Worldwide

A New Administration:

“Whoever becomes president will be a little more supportive because the present administration isn't supportive. But health and safety doesn't live by votes, so other issues might get their attention first.”
-Don Hart, AIHA President

“You will probably see more resources devoted to standard-setting and I think that will be one of the more significant changes, especially since OSHA hasn't focused enough on setting new standards, and it hasn't even caught up with the old hazards.”
- Frank White, ORC Worldwide

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