Henshaw Resigns from OSHA

Rumors have persisted for weeks that John Henshaw, assistant secretary of Labor for OSHA, was planning to exit his post. Late in the afternoon on Dec. 9, Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced his resignation.

Henshaw is departing his post at the Department of Labor on December 31, 2004.

"As head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, John Henshaw has demonstrated outstanding leadership, great wisdom and sincere concern for the safety and health of America's workers," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "John's efforts have been instrumental in creating safer and more healthful workplaces. Under his leadership, workplace fatalities have declined to record lows, and fatalities among Hispanic workers, which had been increasing since 1995, have been reduced by nearly 12 percent since 2001."

Henshaw was nominated by President George W. Bush to head OSHA on June 13, 2001 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 3, 2001. During his administration, OSHA has continued to pursue enforcement efforts but has increased its emphasis on outreach, education and compliance assistance. The agency has consistently exceeded inspection goals, and created hundreds of alliances and partnerships with business, labor and community groups to foster safety and health. Under Henshaw's supervision, there are now more than 1,100 sites in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program, more than 200 Strategic Partnerships Program sites and nearly 200 alliances. More than 350 of these cooperative programs involve unions, which is an all-time high.

Before his appointment, Henshaw had more than 26 years' experience directing environmental, safety and health programs in the chemical industry, and served as president of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, and as a bio-environmental engineer in the U.S. Air National Guard.

Henshaw received his master's degree in environmental health administration and industrial health from the University of Michigan in 1974 and his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University.

There has been no announcement of what Henshaw plans to do after Dec. 31, or who is being vetted to replace him.

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