Saturday, October 11, 2003

OSHA Deputy Nominated to Chem Board

President Bush has nominated Gary Visscher, Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA, to a soon-to-be vacant seat on the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

Visscher was a former Vice President of Employee Relations for the American Iron and Steel Institute. From July 1999 through November 2000 he served as a Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Visscher served in Congressional staff positions from 1983-1999, including Workforce Policy Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce from 1989-1999. It was in this position that, following the 1994 elections when the Republican's took both houses of Congress, Visscher helped spearhead Republican Congressman Cass Ballenger's (NC) attempt to remake the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

CSB Board members serve for 5 years. The terms of two members appointed by President Clinton, Dr. Andrea Kidd Taylor and Dr. Isadore (Irv) Rosenthal expire this year. Dr. Taylor came out of the Health and Safety Department of the United Auto Workers Union, while Rosenthal was corporate health and safety director for Rohm and Haas.

Visscher would fill Rosenthal's seat, while Rixio Medina, currently Manager of Corporate Health, Safety and Security for CITGO Petroleum Corporation, would take Taylor's seat, leaving the Board without any representation from organized labor for the first time in its history.

The Legislative Authority creating the Chemical Board states that
Members of the Board shall be appointed on the basis of technical qualification, professional standing, and demonstrated knowledge in the fields of accident reconstruction, safety engineering, human factors, toxicology, or air pollution regulation.