Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Oversight Begins: Rep Miller Alarmed At OSHA Retaliation Against Employee Re.Asbestos Brakes

Last month, Andrew Schneider of the Baltimore Sun reported that OSHA had threatened to suspend an employee for refusing to withdraw an OSHA bulletin describing the hazards of asbestos in brake pads, Asbestos-Automotive Brake and Clutch Repair Work. The article also suggested that former Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, John Henshaw, had inappropriately influenced the agency to rescind the bulletin.

Today, Congressman George Miller (D-CA), soon-to-be chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao saying that he was "alarmed to learn that OSHA was withdrawing and replacing" the bulletin.

Equally disturbing, according to Miller, is the news that DOL proposed to suspend the OSHA employee who drafted the original safety bulletin."

Miller requested all documents relating to communications between OSHA and the Office of Management and Budget, documents relating to Henshaws communications with the Department relating to the bulletin and all documents relating to the development of the bulletin.

I predict hearings come 2007. After 6 years of without oversight, the grownups are taking over. Sweet.