OSHA, Coast Guard leaders to testify on safety of Gulf spill workers

Leading officials at the Coast Guard, Health and Interior departments will testify this week on worker safety surrounding the Gulf oil spill, the House Education and Labor Committee announced Monday. 

Headed by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the committee wants to examine both the worker safety issues surrounding the cleanup of the continuing disaster and the adequacy of workplace safety rules on offshore oil rigs like the Deepwater Horizon. Many workplace safety experts argue the Coast Guard and the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS), which share the responsibility of workplace safety on offshore rigs, are the wrong agencies for the task. 

To appear before the House labor panel:

— David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); 

— Rear Adm. Kevin Cook, the Coast Guard's director of prevention policy for marine safety, security, and stewardship; 

— John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a branch of the Health and Human Services Department; 

— Doug Slitor, acting chief of the MMS's Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.