OSHRC welcomes new chief judge

January 21, 2011

Washington – Judge Covette Rooney, a 15-year judiciary veteran of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, was designated as its new acting chief administrative law judge.

Rooney, who has been with OSHRC since 1996, takes over for Judge Irving Sommer, who retired in December following a 19-year tenure as chief judge, according to a Jan. 19 OSHRC press release.

Rooney takes the post shortly after presiding over a multimillion-dollar settlement agreement with Imperial Sugar Co. for citations and fines stemming from a massive 2008 explosion that killed 14 workers at its facility in Port Wentworth, GA, and subsequent violations found at a Gramercy, LA, facility. The company agreed in July 2010 to pay $6 million in penalties and implement several safety and health abatement measures.

OSHRC is an independent agency tasked with handling disputes between employers and OSHA.