The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to improve employee safety in the workplace by enforcing a bevy of rules and regulations. The central goal of OSHA is to ensure safe working conditions for American workers through enforcement, training, education, and assistance.

As an agency of the United States Department of Labor (DOL), OSHA’s presence is constantly felt in the construction industry, which experiences the most work-related injuries and fatalities. Contractors must keep a close eye on OSHA’s shifting rules and regulations to ensure compliance at all times. This can be easier said than done, but an OSHA defense lawyer can provide the services you need to prevent costly citations. 

Recently, the DOL designated 12 members to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH). Four of these members were selected by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The objective of these appointments is to better represent occupational health and safety, labor, management, and public interests. In this article, we’ll cover these new appointees and discuss the potential effect on contractors.

Occupational Health Representatives

Two of the newly appointed members represent occupational health. Patricia Bertsche, Ph.D., an Occupational Health & Wellness Consultant from PKB Consulting, LLC, was appointed to a two-year term. She was one of four HHS designess. John Lambeth, CIH, CSP, Director, Safety and Health, AFL-CIO, was another one of the four HHS designess. He was selected for a one-year term.

Occupational Safety Representatives

Another two newly appointed members include Michael Belcher, CSP,  the President of SafetyPro, LLC, and Kelli Smith, Occupational Health Director of Cummins, Inc. They were appointed to two-year and one-year terms, respectively. 

Labor Representatives

NACOSH also added two new labor representatives, Robyn Robbins and Steven Sallman. Robyn Robbins is the Director of Occupational Safety and Health for the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union. Robbins signed on to a one-year term. Steven Sallman, who was appointed to a two-year term, is a Safety and Health Specialist for the Safety & Environment Department of the United Steelworkers (USW).

Management Representatives

New management representatives included Amy Harper, the Deputy Director of the National Safety Council, and William Walkowiak, Director, Occupational Safety Policy and Programs, Office of the Deputy Assistant to the Air Force. Harper was appointed to a one-year term and Walkowiak was appointed to a two-year term.

Public Representatives

Lastly, four new NACOSH public representatives were appointed, including:

  • Mark Friend, CSP, Professor & Interim Dean for the School of Graduate Studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was selected for a one-year term.
  • Cynthia Lewis, M.S.P.H., ASP, Director of the Gulf Coast Safety Institute. She was the third HHS designee and was selected for a two-year term.
  • Andrew Perkins, CIH, CSP, Senior Industrial Hygienist at the Alabama Power Company. Perkins was the final HHS Designee and was appointed to a one-year term.
  • Anne Soiza, Assistant Director of the Washington Department of Labor and Industries Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Soiza was selected for a two-year term and was designated as chair to NACOSH.

What Do These Appointments Mean for Contractors?

New appointees bring new ideas to the fold. They’re trying to make a name for themselves and build on the work OSHA has done in the past. Contractors can expect a renewed emphasis on worker safety as these new representatives unpack strategies for dealing with work-related injuries and fatalities. If you want to maintain compliance and avoid any OSHA-related issues, consult an OSHA defense lawyer.

If you would like to speak with an OSHA defense attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.