Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Henshaw Nomination Wins Broad Support

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Henshaw Nomination Wins Broad Support

Article excerpt

As John Henshaw prepares for Senate confirmation hearings, the nominee for assistant secretary of labor for OSHA appears to have a number of things going for him.

A past president of the American Industrial Hygiene Association and a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, Henshaw possesses professional and technical expertise. After 26 years of work in private industry, including top management jobs with Monsanto and Astaris, Henshaw also has practical and high-level managerial experience in safety and health.

Perhaps most important for success in the highly politicized world of occupational safety, the nominee for the top job at OSHA starts out with the support and the respect of all the agency's major stakeholder groups. That Henshaw begins with labor groups behind him is especially significant, given their general skepticism about the Bush administration's commitment to occupational safety and health. Whether this honeymoon will survive the debate that is re-igniting over a possible new ergonomics standard is an open question.

"He's a competent, well-regarded safety and health professional," AFL-CIO's Peg Seminario commented.

The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) represents workers at Monsanto, so the union has first-hand experience with Henshaw. The union liked what it saw. Michael Wright, director of health, safety and the environment at USWA, said the union "looks forward to Henshaw being confirmed as soon as possible."

Paul Easterday, now Monsanto's director of environment, safety and health, worked with Henshaw for many years at the company. …

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