Obama appoints no-holds-barred Barab as OSHA chief
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:
- Charlie Norwood: Still A Nutcase After All These Years. Barab takes on the Republican Congressman from Georgia for trying to alter OSHA compliance responsibilities of businesses.
- OSHA Announces “Enhancement” Of Worker Protection by Withdrawing TB Standard. Here Barab examines OSHA’s affinity for Orwellian language.
- Peril on Disease Front Lines. How better protection should have been given to healthcare workers in the wake of the SARS outbreak.
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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