Juliann Sum, an Industrial Hygienist for IBEW 1245 during the 1980s, has been appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to serve as Chief of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, more commonly known as Cal/OSHA.
Sum has served as acting chief of the agency since September 2013, during which time she initiated successful efforts to encourage more immediate correction of workplace safety hazards. In November she led the division’s effort to finalize and publish specific guidance to protect workers in healthcare settings from exposure to the Ebola virus and other infectious diseases.
Her hiring by Local 1245 in 1979 won notice by the AFL-CIO at the time.
“You’re a famous first,” said George H. R. Taylor, then-director of the AFL-CIO Department of Occupational Safety and Health in Washington DC. “I congratulate Local 1245 on the hiring of an industrial hygienist.”
In her capacity as industrial hygienist for the union, Sum monitored and investigated conditions in the workplaces where IBEW 1245 members worked, as well as providing the members with occupational health information.
“I am grateful for the opportunity as division chief to maintain and enhance safe workplaces and practices for workers and employers in California,” Sum said upon being sworn in as Cal-OSHA chief. “We will continue to consistently enforce Cal/OSHA standards, develop new standards based on scientific data and practical experience, and collaborate with labor and management organizations.”