California Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. has appointed Juliann Sum as chief of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
Sum, who has served as Cal/OSHA’s acting chief since September 2013, brings more than 30 years of experience in occupational safety and health.
“I am grateful for the opportunity as division chief to maintain and enhance safe workplaces and practices for workers and employers in California,” Sum said upon being sworn into office. “We will continue to consistently enforce Cal/OSHA standards, develop new standards based on scientific data and practical experience and collaborate with labor and management organizations.”
In 2014, Sum established a hiring task force to facilitate filling Cal/OSHA vacancies and enabling senior staff at the division to mentor new hires before retiring. She also has focused on strengthening the training of field staff and managers, providing them with core classes in accident investigation, citation writing, case review and legal appeals.
“Cal/OSHA has made great strides under Juliann's leadership," said California Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary David Lanier. “She has helped strengthen workplace safety laws, improved communication throughout the division and has secured additional resources for the division through her steadfast advocacy.”
During her tenure as acting chief, Sum initiated efforts to encourage more immediate correction of workplace safety hazards. Last month, she led the division’s effort to finalize and publish specific guidance to protect workers in health care settings from exposure to the Ebola virus and other infectious diseases.
Sum joined the California Department of Industrial Relations in 2012 as special advisor to Director Christine Baker. She was designated acting chief of Cal/OSHA in September 2013.
Previously, Sum served from 1994 to 2012 as project director with the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UC Berkeley, and attorney and industrial hygienist with the Labor Occupational Health Program.
Her experience also includes work as an associate attorney with the Environmental Law Foundation; litigation associate with Carroll, Burdick & McDonough; and as industrial hygienist and business representative with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245.
Sum earned a Juris Doctor degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law; a Master of Science degree in environmental health sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health; and a Bachelor of Science degree in biophysics from Brown University.