Rooney becomes chief judge of OSHRC

March 16, 2011

Washington – The current acting chief administrative law judge of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission was named to the permanent position March 14.

Judge Covette Rooney was designated as OSHRC’s acting chief judge Jan. 19 following the retirement of Judge Irving Sommer, who served 19 years as chief judge.

As the permanent chief judge, Rooney will oversee efforts to increase efficiency of case processing and management within the commission in light of an expected increase in contested cases, according to an OSHRC press release. Additionally, the chief judge is responsible for managing and supervising OSHRC administrative law judges at the national office and two regional offices.

Rooney has been with OSHRC since 1996 and has been involved in several complex cases. Most recently, he presided over the $6 million settlement agreement with Imperial Sugar Co. for citations stemming from the 2008 combustible dust explosion that killed 14 workers at a Louisiana facility.

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