Acosta Confirmed as U.S. DOL Secretary

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Alexander Acosta as the new Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. Acosta is President Trump’s second pick for the post after his first choice, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination amidst a barrage of opposition.

Acosta’s confirmation comes with both hope and concern. During his confirmation hearing, when asked if he would support the full implementation of OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica rule, he repeatedly refused to answer, instead falling back on an Executive Order issued by President Trump that requires Federal agencies to search for opportunities to reduce the burden of regulations on the American people. If there is something good to be gleaned from this, it may be that Acosta did not come out in direct opposition to the rule.

AIHA supports the full implementation of the silica dust rule without further delay, and will make every effort to meet with the new Secretary to ensure he fully understands the importance of this rule to worker health and safety. Equally important, the confirmation of Acosta means that a new head of OSHA can be put in place – hopefully in short order, as OSHA is largely paralyzed in many important ways without political leadership.