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Senate panel OKs Obama OSHA nominee

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 07:54 PM
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Senate panel OKs Obama OSHA nominee

2 December 2009
WASHINGTON - The Senate Labor Committee has approved Dr. David Michaels, a public health specialist who helped craft the federal program to aid former nuclear weapons workers who became sick from radiation, as head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Our nations labor and health systems face critical challenges, and public servants of their caliber are assets to the American people, panel chair Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said after the Nov. 18 vote on Democratic President Barack Obamas nominee.

As an Energy Department official in the Clinton administration, Michaels, now a top professor of public health at George Washington University in D.C., was chief architect of the program that aids the former nuclear weapon complex workers who have become seriously ill due to radiation or beryllium exposure at sites such as Oak Ridge, Tenn., Paducah, Ky., and Hanford, Wash., a GWU-provided biography says.

The Steelworkers represent many of those present and former workers, who criticized the programs administration during the anti-worker Bush government for being too restrictive, for putting too much of the burden of proof on sick workers and their families and for taking years to pay benefits. In some cases, the worker died, first.

Since its enactment in 2000, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program provided more than $4.5 billion in benefits to sick workers and their families. He (Michaels) also oversaw promulgation of two major public rules: Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention, and Nuclear Safety Management, the bio adds.

FULL story at link.

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