North Carolina: Legislation would strip labor commissioner's control of workplace safety
Sen. Doug Berger, D-Franklin, said the bill would give the governor control of North Carolina's occupational safety and health program. The legislation, S. 14, would shift the statutory authority, powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, property, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, or other funds of North Carolina's Occupational Safety and Health Division to a new agency, which will be called the Employment Safety and Security Commission.
Gov. Beverly Perdue would appoint a deputy commissioner to run the occupational health and safety program.
Berger said he introduced the legislation because he was concerned that the Labor Department wasn't doing enough to prevent workplace fatalities.
However, critics of the bill questioned Berger's motivation, pointing to the fact that he unsuccessfully ran against Cherie K. Berry for labor commissioner nearly a decade ago.
March 9, 2009
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