I2P2 Caught in Anti-Regulatory Dustup According to OSHA Director Dr. David Michaels

A few weeks ago, MSDSonline reported on a House Subcommittee meeting where OSHA Director Dr. David Michaels was called in to defend OSHA regulations, which were called job killers by some on the panel. Dr. Michaels responded by saying, “OSHA regulations stop jobs from killing workers.” In an MSDSonline poll on the topic, 55% of responders agreed with Dr. Michaels; with 45% disagreeing.

Today, as part of an all-star keynote panel at the National Safety Council’s Congress and Expo, a panel that included OSHA and NIOSH leadership, Dr. Michaels once again defended OSHA regulations while at the same time conceding that certain regulations were a long way off due in large part to anti-regulatory factions.

OHS Magazine has an article on the NSC Keynote that nicely details the highlights of the keynote session. Highlights from the article include:

  • “Michaels reiterated his support for the proposed Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) standard…[but is] unable to provide a timeline for future activity on I2P2. Considering that some of the pushback from Congress has surrounded the I2P2 proposal in particular, the standard's progress may depend on the as-yet undecided federal FY 2012 budget.”
  • “Michaels indicated that the agency is making strides to align the hazcom standard with the Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication System (GHS). According to Michaels, the rule potentially could be published as soon as early 2012.”

Joining Michaels in the session was NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard who spoke about coming shortages of health and safety professionals.

According the OHS article a recent survey found “employers expect to hire about 25,000 OHS professionals over the next 5 years. But just under 13,000 OHS professionals will graduate within the next 5 years, which leaves a deficit of 12,000 OHS professionals compared to the projected need.”

Finally, OHS quoted keynote panelist and Assistant Director for Industrial Safety and Health in Washington State, Dr. Michael Silverstein, saying that “I2P2 may have become a symbol for all regulation for those who argue that standards kill jobs. This provides "a huge obligation for [those] within health and safety to speak up and provide balance.”

The Congress and Expo continues today, with MSDSonline President & CEO Glenn Trout and VP of Sales Chuck Haling presenting on GHS adoption at 1:00 in Room 117.