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Steelworkers Safety Boss Warns of OSHA’s Slow Rulemaking Record

May 14, 2021, 9:45 AM

Self-driving vehicles, gene splicing, 3D printing, nanotechnology, new chemicals—all are potential sources of worker safety hazards that concern Mike Wright of the United Steelworkers.

Technology is changing much faster than the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s ability to respond to new workplace dangers, said Wright, director of the union’s safety office, who is retiring after 44 years with the Steelworkers in Pittsburgh.

None of those possible hazards are covered by a specific OSHA standard—and Wright’s career is a testament to how challenging and time-consuming it can be to enact a new federal workplace safety rule.

“The thing that really ...

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