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Following The Pump Handle’s July 8 post “Secret Rule on OSHA Risk Assessment” (and July 10 here), a front-page Washington Post article provides more details on the Bush Administration’s plan to “reform” the system used by OSHA and MSHA to assess workers’ risk from toxic materials. In U.S. Rushes to Change Workplace Toxin Rules, Post reporter Carol Leonnig obtained a draft copy of the proposed rule, which would direct the risk assessment assumptions and procedures used by MSHA and OSHA when developing regulations to protect workers health hazards. Leonnig reports that Bush appointee, lawyer and “ethics advisor” Deborah Misir in DOL’s Office of Policy worked with a contractor to develop the new risk asssessment plan, intentionally leaving career scientists out of the process.
Well, well, it’s the same old playbook for the Bush Administration: Leave out the career staff who know most about the topic, assign a political appointee with no expertise to manage the process, and pay a hand-selected contractor to do the work. That would be bad enough, but it gets worse.