President Bush Names W. Scott Railton Chairman of Job Safety Court

President Bush Names W. Scott Railton Chairman of Job Safety Court

President George W. Bush designated W. Scott Railton as Chairman of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission September 2, 2002. Mr. Railton joined the independent tribunal last month as a Commissioner after a presidential appointment. The agency adjudicates disputes between employers and employees and a separate Labor Department agency over contested safety and health inspections at American workplaces.

"It is a special honor to have the confidence of President Bush to head the premier federal agency for rendering decisions in the many important issues that arise in workplace safety and health disputes," Mr. Railton said. As Chairman, in addition to ruling on cases with the other Commissioners, he is responsible for all aspects of the agency's day-to-day operations.

Mr. Railton left his position as a senior labor partner at the law firm of Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, where he specialized in safety and health matters, to head the Review Commission. With Reed Smith since1977, he served the firm as safety and health counsel to a number of national corporations. He has represented clients in job safety and health enforcement proceedings before federal and state courts and commissions. He has also represented clients in proceedings on the setting of safety and health standards in courts including the U.S. Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court.

A past co-chairman for management of the Occupational Safety & Health Law Committee of the American Bar Association, Mr Railton is a fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and is a past chairman of the Employment and Labor Law Committee of the National Association of Manufacturers. He is author of the legal chapter in The Occupational Environment Its Evaluation and Control, a text published by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and a sought-after guest speaker at conventions and annual meetings of health-and-safety-related organizations.

Mr. Railton's joining of the Review Commission is actually a return. From 1972 to 1977 he served the-then recently created agency in two positions: as chief counsel to two agency Commissioners and, in 1975 and 1976, also as acting general counsel. Before working at the Review Commission in 1972, Mr. Railton was one of four lawyers who founded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor in 1971. He served that agency from 1971 through 1972 as acting assistant counsel in charge of litigation for that division.

President Bush nominated Mr. Railton in June to a Commissioner's term expiring in April 2007, and put him on the panel in August by recess appointment. As a recess appointee, Mr. Railton may serve until the end of the next session of the Senate unless confirmed to the full term.

Mr. Railton graduated second in his class from the George Washington School of Law and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Washington, majoring in Electrical Engineering. He is a member of the Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia Bars and is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who In The World. He and his family live in Great Falls, Virginia.

Last Updated: March 27, 2003