This week, two Senate Committees will focus attention on worker safety and health topics. On Wednesday, February 28, Senator Tom Harkin’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education will receive testimony on “Improving Mine Safety: One Year after Sago and Alma.” On Thursday, March 1, Senator Patty Murray’s Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing entitled “Asbestos: Still Lethal, Still Legal: The Need to Better Protect the Health of American Workers and Their Families.”
Senator Harkin’s hearing will feature testimony from MSHA Assistant Secretary Richard Stickler and NIOSH Director John Howard. The Subcommittee will also hear from J. Davitt McAteer (former MSHA chief and head of Governor Joe Manchin’s special investigation into the Sago and Alma disasters), Cecil Roberts (President, United Mine Workers), Chris Hamilton (WV Coal Association) and Bruce Watzman (National Mining Association). (More details here.)
At Senator Murray’s hearing, the witnesses will include Sue Vento, widow of Congressman Bruce Vento (D-MN) who died from mesothelioma; environmental consultant and asbestos expert Barry Castleman, ScD; and Harvey Pass, MD (New York University Medical Center). The hearing will begin at 10:00 AM in Senate Dirksen and webcast here.