Biden names workplace safety expert to COVID-19 task force

Dive Short:

  • In a transfer heralded as a acquire for workplace safety, President-elect Joe Biden added a popular workplace health and fitness qualified to his Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.
  • Dr. David Michaels is an epidemiologist and professor of environmental and occupational health and fitness at the George Washington University University of General public Health in Washington, D.C. He served as assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health and fitness from 2009 to January 2017, the longest serving administrator in OSHA’s historical past. Much of his research focuses on shielding the integrity of the science underpinning public health and fitness, safety and environmental protections, according to the announcement.
  • The appointment comes following the nonprofit Countrywide Basic safety Council urged Biden to incorporate a workplace safety qualified on the task pressure, stating that owning a workplace safety voice at the table alongside health-related and health and fitness experts is significant to combating the coronavirus disaster.

Dive Perception:

In calling on Biden’s team to incorporate a workplace safety experienced, the NSC famous that the business community has not experienced a nationwide pandemic roadmap, and said that “companies have struggled simply because of it.” Assessment of states’ actions to beat COVID-19 shows that only 9 states have unveiled thorough employer recommendations all through the pandemic to aid defend staff, the council added.

So significantly, four states — Virginia, Michigan, California and Oregon — have enacted emergency workplace requirements in response to the pandemic, like protocols for screening staff and website visitors, bodily distancing steps and the use of masks and deal with shields.

Design marketplace health and fitness gurus also expressed issue that Biden’s authentic task pressure did not incorporate an appointee exclusively dedicated to the needs of COVID-19 safety in the workplace.

“It’s not aspect of our society to feel about do the job and health and fitness in this place. We really don’t feel about occupation as a single of the social determinants of health and fitness,” said Jack Dennerlein, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston who scientific tests occupational health and fitness and safety in design, and who famous a deficiency of an occupational qualified on Biden’s first COVID-19 task pressure. “But if he definitely wishes to get the financial state jogging all over again, you have obtained to feel about controlling it in the workplace so that personnel can display up.”

The NSC praised the addition of Michaels to the staff, stating that he brings a deep knowing of the safety issues experiencing both equally personnel and their companies.

“We have the utmost self esteem in his experience in the midst of an unparalleled safety disaster,” read a statement.

Design Dive Reporter Joe Bousquin contributed to this report.