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OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels speaks on state of workplace safety

On October 5, 2011, David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), spoke before the Congressional Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

Michaels took the opportunity to detail the important work OSHA is doing to protect American workers and to hear comments and suggestions on how the agency could best fulfill its mission to create a safe workplace.

In his statement, Michaels urged members of Congress not to become so enveloped in the current economic crisis that they put workplace safety on the backburner, citing President Obama's address to the Joint Session of Congress.

"What we can't do," Obama said, "is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades. I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety."

Michaels highlighted the many successes of OSHA, especially in developing standards for fall protection systems.

Currently, 25 states have adopted OSHA-approved State Plans that help to develop workplace safety measures including fall protection strategies.