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NSC’s Jane Terry guest stars on live recording of ‘On the Safe Side’ podcast


New Orleans — The National Safety Council’s Jane Terry spotlighted current OSHA activities on Monday during a live recording of the “On the Safe Side” podcast.

Terry, vice president of government affairs at NSC, joined podcast hosts and Safety+Health Associate Editors Barry Bottino, Kevin Druley and Alan Ferguson during the 2023 NSC Safety Congress & Expo.

Although pointing out that the House “can’t do anything right now because they don’t have a speaker,” Terry said “there’s still stuff happening in Washington.”

She noted OSHA’s proposed rule that would let workers designate someone who doesn’t work for their employer to represent them during an OSHA “walkaround” inspection

Additionally, she mentioned that the agency is working on rulemaking regarding worker exposure to extreme heat and workplace violence (specifically pertaining to health care workers).

Terry also discussed the status of Julie Su’s nomination as permanent leader of the Department of Labor and the process going forward. Su assumed the role of acting secretary in March, when then-Labor Secretary Marty Walsh stepped down to become the executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association. That same month, President Joe Biden nominated Su to succeed Walsh. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved her nomination with an 11-10 party-line vote in April.

A Senate confirmation of Su’s nomination, however, appears to be at an impasse after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in July announced his opposition.

If Su’s nomination isn’t confirmed by Jan. 1, it would be returned to the White House. The president would have to resubmit her nomination, and Su would again need approval from the Senate HELP Committee.

“It’ll be interesting to see if it’s able to proceed through the Senate HELP Committee,” Terry said. “I think all of the Republicans have said they would oppose her nomination. So, what is that path forward? And if the Republicans can get any of the Democrats to side with them, which I think is in the cards potentially, then the Biden administration will have to put someone else forward for that nomination.”

Terry also spoke about NSC’s naloxone initiatives. Overdoses leading to death on the job have increased more than 500% over the past decade, she said, and it accounts for nearly 10% of all fatalities at work. “So, we need to get opioid overdose response medications in workplaces. We’re actually doing a little bit on that in D.C., where you’ve got bipartisan legislation in the House and then also legislation in the Senate.”

Produced monthly, “On the Safe Side” covers important safety topics and features interviews with leading voices in the profession. The podcast made its NSC Safety Congress & Expo debut two years ago in Orlando, FL.

Did you miss the live podcast recording? You can listen to it, along with all past episodes on the S+H website.

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