Senate Confirms OSHA Leader After 4-Year Gap

Posted on 11/2/2021 by Lauren Scott

On October 25, US Senate confirmed Doug Parker as head of the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in a 50–41 vote. This marks the first time OSHA has had a confirmed head administrator since January 2017, when then-leader David Michaels stepped down.

The Biden administration announced plans to nominate Parker on April 9. Parker then sat for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on May 27.

During the hearing, Parker was asked about his time as Chief of California’s Occupational Safety and Health Division (Cal/OSHA). Parker was Chief of Cal/OSHA from September 2019 until his confirmation as US OSHA’s head administrator.

As Chief of Cal/OSHA, Parker oversaw the implementation of California’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for COVID-19 workplace safety, when it was enacted early last summer. Many other entities, including local, State, and Federal agencies have cited California’s ETS as a model when drafting similar occupational infectious disease control measures.

Parker has vowed to maintain an open communication with industry stakeholders as head of OSHA. During his confirmation hearing he said
“…I understand how important it is to hear input on the issues facing our workplaces. If confirmed, I will maintain that commitment to stakeholder dialogue. We do not have to choose between a strong economy and good, safe jobs; listening to and learning from stakeholders is how we can ensure both.”

Prior to joining Cal/OSHA, Parker was executive director of a California legal services provider and served as deputy assistant secretary of policy at the Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Obama administration.

OSHA COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing Rule Moves Forward

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently concluded its review of OSHA's ETS concerning employee vaccination and testing for large employers.

A Rule could appear this week in the Federal Register.

Public and private sector stakeholder meetings ended on October 29. OSHA met with industry associations, law firms, State and local Chambers of Commerce, large employers with covered workers nationwide, and others.

OSHA’s ETS is expected to require private employers with 100 or more workers to ensure their employees are vaccinated or conduct weekly testing of unvaccinated employees.

COVID-19 Safety Awareness Online Training

To help US workplaces safely resume and continue operations, Lion launched the COVID-19 Employee Safety Awareness Online Course. The course is designed to help satisfy training mandates for employees concerning COVID-19, preparing employees to: 
  • Recognize signs, symptoms, and risk factors for COVID-19.
  • Describe how the COVID-19 disease is transmitted.
  • Follow recommended hygiene and work protocols to prevent exposure.
  • Properly use and care for PPE and face coverings, when required. 
This self-paced online course is updated regularly to reflect evolving information on COVID-19 workplace exposure. As more employees nationwide return to work, it is crucial that they know how to protect themselves and their co-workers from exposure to COVID-19.

Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, osha, safety

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