OSHA Announces Personnel Changes

List headed up by Gary Visscher as deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA.

John Henshaw, assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has appointed Gary Visscher, former vice president of Employee Relations for the American Iron and Steel Institute, as a deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA.

Visscher has a long track record in dealing with labor and OSHA issues. From July 1999 through November 2000, he served as a commissioner on the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. He was one of three members of the independent commission, which reviews OSHA citations and penalties that are contested by companies. He served in Congressional staff positions from 1983 to 1999, including a stint as Workforce Policy Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce from 1989 to 1999.

Visscher graduated from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich., with a B.A. in political science, and received his J.D. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

"I am delighted to welcome Gary as a deputy assistant secretary here at OSHA," Henshaw said. "His valuable experience on Capitol Hill, as well as his long history of involvement with safety and health issues, will strengthen and improve the operation of OSHA and help the agency do a better job of protecting American workers and employers."

In his new position, Visscher will oversee the Directorates of Federal State Operations, Technical Support, Information Technology Policy, the Standards Directorates and the Offices of Public Affairs and Reinvention. R. Davis Layne will continue as deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA and oversee regional operations and the Directorates of Compliance, Construction and Administrative Programs and the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Programs.

OSHA also announced other appointments and personnel realignments. Rene Wildermuth has been appointed special assistant to Henshaw for Management Systems and Performance Measures. Wildermuth comes to OSHA from the Mercatus Center, a nonprofit research, education and outreach organization at George Mason University.

Other personnel changes:

  • Marthe Kent, director of Standards, has accepted a special assignment on loan to the National Safety Council to work on plans for the 17th Triennial World Safety Congress in 2005 in Orlando, Fla. Kent began her assignment there Nov. 5.
  • Steve Witt, currently director of Technical Support at OSHA, will move to the position of director of Health Standards and acting director of Safety Standards.
  • Ruth McCully, currently OSHA's Regional Administrator in Region I, Boston, has been asked to return to Washington to take the position of director of Technical Support.
  • Paula White, director of Federal State Operations, has been given the responsibility for overseeing the compliance assistance program as part of her directorate.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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