A vote on Scott Mugno to become the head of OSHA has been postponed by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). Mr. Mugno had already won approval by the committee on a straight-party line vote on December 13, 2017 but his nomination must be reconsidered since it was not confirmed by the full Senate before the end of last year’s term.

Mr. Mugno has been a safety executive with FedEx Ground since 2011 and has served as Chairman of Research Advisory Committee at American Transportation Research Institute since January 2017. His management background has raised concerns among some Democrats and labor advocates about his commitment to workplace safety and that he will take actions to weaken OSHA and roll-back enforcement.

Despite these concerns, the leadership vacuum coupled with a decline in the number of OSHA inspectors has made it crucial for Mr. Mugno to take control of OSHA to provide much needed guidance to the agency and employers. Once confirmed, Mr. Mugno will have to tackle a number of pressing issues such as setting budget and staffing levels, directing enforcement priorities and making policy changes, implementation of OSHA’s new electronic injury and illness reporting rules, and determining how new standards will be enforced such as those concerning silica exposure.

A new date and location for the vote has not been confirmed but should be rescheduled in the next few weeks.