Who Should Be The Next Director of OSHA?

My Nomination for the Next Asst. Secretary of Labor - OSHA

April 1, 2016 - When Donald Trump is sworn into office next January, one of his Presidential duties will be to nominate someone to serve as the new head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The last time this post came open, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), of which I have been a Professional member since 1992, endorsed the current director of OSHA, Dr. David Michaels, for that post. However, I do not recall anyone from the ASSE asking me for my opinion about Dr. Michaels or any other nominee for that matter.  So what I want to do right now is to get an early jump and provide my input for the ideal candidate to endorse when this job comes open.

Right now I am sure many of you are probably saying out loud, “But Curtis, I think you should serve as the next President of OSHA.”  While I am flattered by that thought, I am formally removing my name from consideration for that post for numerous reasons, including but not limited to:

  • My ownership of the website oshatraining.com would probably be viewed as a possible conflict of interest during the Senate confirmation hearing;
  • I’m too results oriented to hold a job in the Federal Government;
  • I have the audacity to think that sometimes, when an employee gets hurt, it could actually be his or her fault as opposed to their employer;
  • I cannot afford the pay cut; and,
  • Winters in Washington DC can really suck!

So who do I think would be an ideal person to put forth as candidate for King of OSHA?  I want to nominate a gentleman most of you have probably heard of, and may even have the pleasure of knowing; Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D, CSP.

In all seriousness, I believe that Darryl Hill really does possess the experience, skills and leadership qualities needed to lead OSHA into the future.  He is highly-respected, well-educated, and has an extensive background in occupational health and safety. He is also a Certified Safety Professional, and has recently served as president of the ASSE. I think he used to live near Detroit, so he’d already be used to the sucky winters they have in DC. And best of all, Darryl has “real world” experience managing health and safety programs for major employers.  It is that last qualification that appeals to me the most, because I think he could do much to advance worker safety without resorting to some of the anti-employer tactics put forth by the current administration. And last but not least, I think it would be refreshing to have a little diversity in that office for a change (nothing against balding white guys, just sayin’). In short, I cannot think of anyone who would be better qualified for this job.

If this seems like something out of the blue, it's not. I have admired Darryl from afar for several years now, and thought he would make a great leader for OSHA.  I have not spoken to Darryl or anyone else about this idea of mine, and I think he would probably be too modest to campaign for this post himself. So it will be up to everyday people like me and you to get this grass-root effort up and rolling forward.

So what do you think?  Do you agree with me that Darryl should be considered for nomination as the next Director of OSHA? If so, then talk him up at your next ASSE meeting, or call your Senator, or make some posters or something, and let’s get this ball rolling! Or perhaps you have someone else in mind for the post? Whatever your view, please provide input about Darryl or your ideal candidate by Clicking Here so there will be ample time for all of us ASSE members (and everyone else) to evaluate their qualifications so we can be sure to endorse the right person for this important job. Also, I would like to encourage you to Share this Blog post with others in your Network who might want to weigh in on this topic. And don’t wait too long; inauguration day will be here before you know it!   



Curtis Chambers is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and holds a Master of Science degree in Occupational Safety and Health. He has held numerous leadership positions managing and evaluating health and safety programs and providing training on workplace safety and health topics at various public organizations and private corporations. Mr. Chambers is currently the President of OSHA Training Services Inc. Visit their website at www.oshatraining.com.  
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