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Chemical Safety Board calls for stronger standards on reactive chemicals

Photo: Chemical Safety Board

New board members aim to continue ‘incredibly important work’

CSB showed a portion of the video during its most recent public business meeting, the first for recently sworn-in CSB members Sylvia Johnson and Steve Owens.

The meeting coincided with Workers’ Memorial Day, observed each April 28 to honor individuals who have lost their lives on the job. That resonated with Johnson, whose mother, a shirt factory worker, died at age 61 from a work-related illness.

“It’s vitally important to me that the people and the public and the environment are protected as we do our work at this agency,” Johnson said. “And in particular, the workers are the ones on the front lines and often in harm’s way, and so I want to be able to work toward continuing to have safer workplaces.”

Added Owens: “Even with all of the challenges that have faced the Chemical Safety Board over the years and are currently facing us now as board members, the Chemical Safety Board has been doing incredibly important work.”

Johnson and Owens join Lemos, who had guided the agency as a self-described quorum of one since May 1, 2020, on the board. A frequent target for elimination under the Trump administration, CSB now has two vacant board seats remaining.

Lemos expressed optimism in the agency’s continued work. CSB Director of Recommendations Chuck Barbee said the agency, as of April 26, has closed 32 recommendations in fiscal year 2022, doubling the total from the previous public business meeting in January. Additionally, Barbee anticipates CSB will surpass the 41 closed recommendations it recorded in FY 2021.

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