Oakland, CA – The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) recently announced Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s appointment of Debra Lee and Eric Berg as the newest Cal/OSHA Deputy Chiefs. The appointments build on Lee and Berg’s combined 39 years of experience working with Cal/OSHA to strengthen workplace health and safety.
“Governor Brown appointed two of the most experienced and informed Cal/OSHA employees to help guide the division into the future,” said DIR Director Christine Baker. Cal/OSHA, officially known as the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, is a division of DIR.
As Deputy Chief of Safety with Cal/OSHA’s Enforcement Branch, Debra Lee will oversee investigations and inspections of California’s worksites. Her duties will include managing Cal/OSHA’s regular enforcement offices statewide, as well as the specialized Mining and Tunneling, High Hazard and Labor Enforcement Task Force units.
As Deputy Chief of Health, Eric Berg will manage Cal/OSHA’s research and standards activities, including the development of health and safety regulations. He will also oversee Cal/OSHA’s Medical and Toxicology, Asbestos and Carcinogen and Crane units.
The new appointees will serve under the general direction of Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “I have worked closely with both Debra Lee and Eric Berg, and have complete confidence in their ability to carry out our critical responsibilities in enforcement, research and standards,” said Chief Sum.
Debra Lee originally joined Cal/OSHA as an industrial hygienist with the High Hazard Unit in 1994. She was promoted several times, most recently to Acting Deputy Chief of Field Enforcement in April 2015. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in health science from Cal State University Northridge and knew at an early age that she wanted a career protecting working people. She is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “All labor has dignity.”
Eric Berg also started his career with Cal/OSHA as an industrial hygienist in 1997. He has served as a safety engineer in multiple units, and was promoted to Acting Deputy Chief of Research and Standards in April 2015. Berg holds a master’s degree in environmental health engineering from University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Cal State University Chico. He is also fluent in the Spanish language.
Source: CA DIR