Secretary of Labor appoints union sheet metal administrator to committee

Batykefer represents employees, industry for first-ever sheet metal appointment

ALEXANDRIA, Va.Gary Batykefer, administrative director for the Sheet Metal Occupational Health Trust (SMOHIT), was one of eight new members appointed by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis to the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) on June 7. The 15-member committee meets twice a year. The eight newly appointed members will join seven current members.

This marks the first time a member of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) has been appointed to the committee. Batykefer is looking forward to taking his “seat at the OSHA table” and becoming involved in the decision making process regarding worker safety, he said.

“As a committee member, I hope to offer common sense ideas that benefit the worker without causing undue burden to the employers who employ construction workers,” Batykefer added. “This appointment is a testament to all sheet metal workers and the SMWIA who have engaged in creating a safety culture in our industry, and I would like to think that SMOHIT has been instrumental in promoting a culture of safety as a primary mission.”

Batykefer is one of five members to represent employees on the committee and will serve alongside Laurie A. Shadrick, training specialist for the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters; Erich J. (Pete) Stafford, director of safety and health for the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO; Frank L. Migliaccio, Jr., executive director of safety and health for the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, and Walter A. Jones, associate director of occupational safety and health for the Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America. Other members of the committee represent the public, employers and state governments.

“The new ACCSH members possess a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience on a wide range of construction health and safety matters,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). “I am confident these new members, representing the interests of labor, management, government and the public, will use their expertise to provide valuable advice and recommendations on important workplace safety and health issues. We share the goal of good, safe jobs for all American workers.”

The ACCSH has advised the assistant secretary for occupational safety and health on construction standards and policy matters for nearly 40 years. Additional information on the committee can be found at www.osha.gov/doc/accsh.

The Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust (SMOHIT) was founded in 1986 to address the impact of decades-long asbestos exposure on those working in the sheet metal industry. To date, more than 55,000 sheet metal workers have been screened as part of its ongoing Asbestos Screening Program.

SMOHIT has since expanded its mission to include health and safety training products, health and safety training curriculum, and health and safety services. SMOHIT works directly with the International Training Institute (ITI) to offer the training programs.

For more information on SMOHIT visit www.smohit.org or call 703-739-7130.

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