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OSHA's Labor Liaisons:
Little-Known Resource Offers Guidance, Support
By Travis Parsons
Each OSHA region throughout the country has a Labor Liaison whose job is to maintain communication with organized and non-union workers, committees on occupational safety and health and worker centers and coalitions. The Liaisons help these groups navigate OSHA’s organizational structure or complaint procedures and assist them in developing and updating health and safety programs. Liaisons can answer questions about workers' rights, complaint and inspection procedures, health and safety standards and other technical or procedural issues. They also can make presentations at meetings, and some offer training on a variety of health and safety issues as well. If you need OSHA’s help to get an inspection or a discrimination complaint resolved or to address some other issue, the Labor Liaisons are there to help you.
During the Bush Administration, OSHA's Labor Liaison positions were left unfilled after retirement, but now, every region has one.
After introductions facilitated by the LHSFNA's OSH Division Director Scott Schneider (who had met him at a conference), OSHA Region VII Labor Liaison Brian Wood addressed the Midwest Laborers' Health and Safety Fund's annual safety conference on February 19. The audience included LIUNA training center and LECET leaders as well as local union officials, organizers and fair contracting specialists. Wood – who, like many other Labor Liaisons, comes from a union background – explained that his job is to help labor-affiliated entities address safety and health issues at jobsites. In explaining the Liaison's role, he suggested that all regional liaisons would likely be interested in establishing relations with LIUNA affiliates.
The contact information for the current Labor Liaisons is listed below:
[Travis Parsons is the LHSFNA's Senior Safety & Health Specialist.]