Closing Time: The Future of Occupational Health With Douglas Parker
Douglas L. Parker’s current position as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA is only the most recent high point of his decades-long career in labor law and occupational health and safety. After graduating from law school in 1997, Parker worked as a staff attorney for United Mine Workers of America. The twelve years he spent in law also included a partnership in a prominent Washington, D.C.-based law firm that represents unions. Under President Barak Obama, Parker served as senior policy advisor and then deputy assistant secretary for policy in the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Starting in 2016, Parker spent three years as executive director of Worksafe, a California-based organization that has advocated for occupational health and safety protections, as well as provided legal training to legal aid programs, worker advocacy groups, and unions, for more than 40 years. But only months before the appearance of COVID-19—in September 2019—Parker was appointed to lead the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Cal/OSHA is the nation’s largest state OSHA program and one of the most active as well: the California Department of Industrial Relations website cites the department as having conducted the most inspections of any state OSHA plan for the 2019 federal fiscal year. Under Parkers’ leadership, Cal/OSHA propagated the first version of its set of Emergency Temporary Standards for COVID-19 prevention in occupational settings, including for employer-provided housing and transportation.
For occupational and environmental health and safety professionals, Parker’s closing keynote at AIHce EXP 2022 will be a chance to learn more about a career spent advocating for occupational health and safety at the highest levels and throughout the most serious public health crisis in recent memory. Parker’s remarks are a chance to gain insight into diverse issues related to the OEHS field, from labor rights to OHS advocacy to providing protecting workers’ health during a global pandemic
For more information, view Parker’s biography page on the OSHA website.
Attending AIHce EXP this year? Submit your questions for Mr. Parker; several will be selected for the special Q&A portion of his session.