President Obama nominated late last month George Washington University Research Professor David Michaels, Ph.D., as Assistant Secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Û head of the Department of Labor agency. An epidemiologist, he has studied exposure to toxic chemicals, including asbestos, metals and solvents, and written extensively on science and regulatory policy. He would replace Jordan Barab, who joined OSHA as Deputy Assistant Secretary in April, serving since as Acting Assistant Secretary.
Dr. Michaels' expertise and leadership is needed as OSHA continues to restore vital health and safety protections for America's workers, said House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA), adding that he looked forward to working with the nominee and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to ensure the agency has the tools to accomplish this mission. That commitment dovetails with regulatory ambitions Rep. Miller has exhibited under the new administration, most notably sponsorship of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (passed in late January) and the Employee Free Choice Act (resurrected in March).
Joining her Labor and Education Committee colleague in praise of the nomination, Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chair Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) noted, Given the impressive credentials Dr. Michaels will bring as the OSHA administrator, I am confident the initiatives launched by Secretary Solis to issue long overdue safety standards and bring back more vigorous enforcement of workplace safety and health standards will be realized.