Obama appoints no-holds-barred Barab as OSHA chief

By: April 14th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

After years of spewing forth against President Bush and his OSHA minions for laissez faire regulatory activity, Jordan Barab is going to Washington to run OSHA, if only on an interim basis.

Actually, Barab has been in Washington for the past two years as senior labor policy advisor for Health and Safety on the House Education and Labor Committee,  but prior to that he blogged frequently and passionately on his occupational health and safety Web site Confined Space.

The appointment, which took effect Monday, April 13, had workplace safety experts sitting up and taking notice. If, under the Obama administration, OSHA is going to become more active in regulation promulgation and enforcement, then Barab’s appointment may be a telling sign. At the very least he will be a different OSHA chief compared to the big-business leaning of the agency’s previous assistant secretary, Edwin Foulke, Jr.

Even though Barab is no longer blogging on Confined Space, his posts are still available. The web site claims over 1,000 hits a day. Not bad for a site that has not been active since 2007.

Some posts showing Barab’s no-holds-barred take in criticizing those whom he felt would impede occupational health and safety progress include:

Finally, here’s a favorite if only because of the unexpected juxtaposition of occupational health safety matters and the hazards of the porn industry.

  • Porn Studios Cited By CalOSHA.  Barab admits that when he was actively petitioning for the bloodborne pathogens standard in 1985, he didn’t imagine his advocacy would eventually apply to this enterprise sector.

Oh well, I guess even porn stars need protection…of the occupational health and safety type.

Is this the type of jump start you expected from the new administration, or will even the most passionate, true believer like Jordan Barab, get bogged down in the Washington D.C. bureaucracy?

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The Union Survey Report, April 16,2009 “Healthcare workers in Peril: Preparing To Protect Worker Health and Safety During Pandemic Influenza” adds to the mounting evidence that the non-federal Healthcare sector secures the title of “the weakest link in the Homeland Security Chain”

By David LaHoda on April 23rd, 2009 at 11:06 am

Interesting observation. I reported on the survey and provided a link to it in this week’s OSHA Healthcare Connection.

OSHA Healthcare Connection, by the way, is a free weekly e-newsletter that works in tandem with OSHA Healthcare Advisor to keep you up to date on occupational health and safety matters for healthcare facilities. Click here it subscribe to it., or click on the starburst at the top of this page.

By Nyla Japp, RN, PhD on April 27th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

More needs to be done in healthcare facilities to enforce the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. Too many facilities lack compliance in the operating rooms, emergency rooms, labor and delivery, and the Sterile Processing Departments. There are currently managers and directors ignoring and/or not enforcing staff to comply. The only people that administration will listen to, is a regulatory compliance officer. Thank you for listening. Dr. Japp


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