Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, named on January 7 as the potential candidate to lead the U.S. Department of Labor under the Biden administration, is expected to make infectious disease prevention a key goal as unions continue to demand a COVID-19 standard, experts say.
Although Walsh would be the first union leader to run the department in five decades, his second work history and presidency make it likely that he is willing to compromise with business leaders to develop such a temporary disaster standard, experts say.
Despite his "very authentic workmanship", Walsh is highly regarded and respected by both employers and professional groups, says Eric Conn, Washington-based founder of Conn Maciel Carey LLP.
"I think he's typically a classic Joe Biden pick," he said, noting that Walsh is appealing to moderate Democrats as well as the party's more progressive wing because of his work background. [1
Mr. Walsh spent several years as head of the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council before being elected mayor in 2014.
Trade union groups such as the AFL-CIO have released statements in support of Mr. Walsh. Walsh to lead the Labor Department, but trade groups have also expressed commitment to working with Mr. Walsh. The 21,000-member trade group Associated Builders and Contractors said it was "looking forward to working with a leader who has an extensive career in construction and local government experience."
If confirmed, it is likely that Walsh's first priority will be the appointment of a Deputy Secretary of the Swedish Work Environment Authority, a position that has been vacant for the past four years.
"I believe we will see an Assistant Secretary-General appointed within the first week of
Deborah Roy, Falmouth, Maine-based president of SafeTech Consultants Inc. and elected president of the American Society of Safety Professionals, said that OSHA "has really suffered without having leadership for that long period of time. ”
“ I think the first priority really still has to be the pandemic … (to) quickly get a leader in place who has the opportunity to really work with (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) tion and come up with more specific guidance for employers, ”she said.
Several names have been moved for the OSHA role, including Doug Park, current leader of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health; Debbie Berkowitz, Director of the National Employment Law Project; David Michaels, who served as head of OSHA during the Obama administration; and Jim Frederick, who has helped lead the health and safety of United Steelworkers for 25 years, and has been approved by the National Safety Council, the American Society of Safety Professionals and the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
When that job is full, the first order is likely to be the implementation of a temporary standard for COVID-19, a task that would generally fall on OSHA leaders, experts say.
Although several states – including California, Michigan, Oregon and Virginia – have issued their own temporary emergency standards for COVID-19 protection in the workplace, OSHA has declined to do so, leading to a federal lawsuit by the AFL-CIO. to force the agency to do so.
Security groups, such as NSC, have also commented on the need for a standard to provide consistent workplace safety protocols rather than a "patchwork of recommendations in various states," said Lorraine Martin, President and CEO of NSC. 9659002] "The template has been set for … what such a standard would include," said Klass. "The Biden administration and Mayor Walsh will have a roadmap for what they want to include in such a standard, and I expect that it will be their top priority during a forthcoming Secretary Walsh."  More insurance and work compensation news about the coronavirus crisis here . Catalog