The BNA Daily Labor Report and a National Association of Manufacturers'' update are reporting that John Henshaw is likely to be named the next OSHA administrator.
Henshaw is the director of environment, safety and health for the St. Louis-based Astaris LLC.
An OSHA spokesperson would not confirm the report with Occupational Hazards but said that the White House would make an announcement regarding the position when the time is appropriate.
Henshaw did not return phone calls from Occupational Hazards, however, when asked last month about his bid for OSHA chief, Henshaw cited his 26 years of experience in the field and his profound interest in OSHA.
"I''m deeply concerned about OSHA and its effectiveness," said Henshaw. "My objectives would be to make it more effective, more efficient and more credible."
Henshaw asked for, and received, a letter from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) backing his effort to be OSHA administrator.
Henshaw served as AIHA president in 1990-91.
Steve Levine, AIHA president, told Occupational Hazards that he received a phone call yesterday from the White House asking if AIHA supported Henshaw.
Levine said he told the White House that the association was in favor of Henshaw and believed he had the solid background in occupational health and safety needed for the position.
In his letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao supporting Henshaw, Levine wrote, "Mr. Henshaw is firmly committed to the proposition that OSHA can serve both the objectives of protecting the worker and helping businesses to be profitable -- that both these objectives are complementary."
Daniel Glucksman, public affairs director for the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), said that he thought a decision to choose Henshaw would follow the trend the Bush administration has been following when filling high-level posts.
"Henshaw would certainly fit the pattern of the Bush administration to appoint corporate types to these positions," said Glucksman.
Henshaw is one of three names industry experts identified to be on the short list to head OSHA since President Bush took office.
by Virginia Sutcliffe