Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board

A northeastern Kentucky man is one of 12 new members of a newly reestablished board that oversees workplace safety regulations.

John Holbrook, of Sandy Hook, will work with the other 11 members of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, which Gov. Andy Beshear reestablished Friday.

Holbrook is business manager for Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 248 in Ashland. Other members represent business, industry, agriculture and labor interests.

“I think (Gov. Beshear) wanted it to be diverse, different facets of the labor force ... to let everyone have a voice and be represented,” Holbrook said.

The board is important for keeping workers safe on job sites and ensuring workplace laws and regulations are followed, Holbrook said.

“My background is on job sites. I’ve been a foreman and a supervisor. Anytime you are in a supervisory role you are directly responsible for safety of your staff. I’ve seen injuries and potential hazards and risks.

“I come from the field. I worked 15 to 18 years (before transitioning to an office job). I know what working men and women are going through, the folks in boots and hard hats,” he said.

Beshear reestablished the board some 18 months after former Gov. Matt Bevin dissolved it by executive order in July 2018.

Beshear, who then was Attorney General, at the time called for reinstating the board and said state law gave an independent board responsibility for occupational safety and health regulations.

Beshear appointed all new members to the board.

“Every Kentuckian should be safe at their place of employment. We have worked with industry leaders to reestablish the board and ensure we have professionals from across the Commonwealth who are committed to helping strengthen our workplace safety standards,” Beshear said in a statement.

Other board members include:

• Kenneth Nichter of Louisville, a training consultant senior for Louisville Gas and Electric KYUtilities in the Generation and Transmission Technical Training Department. Nichter is a member of the KY Safety and Health Network and the World Safety Organization.

• Mac Stone of Georgetown, who produces organic produce and meats with his wife and extended family in Scott County for their CSA shareholder program and farmers markets.

• Traci Byrd of Murray, an assistant professor at Murray State University serving with the faculty of the Department of Occupational Safety and Health for eighteen years. She has a broad background in various safety and health areas specializing in emergency medical training, hazardous materials handling and emergency response.

• Angela Bednark of La Grange, who has worked in the automotive industry for over twelve years and is currently a safety engineer for Ford Motor Company at the Kentucky Truck Plant. Bednark serves on the Kentucky Safety and Health Network. She is a graduate of Samford University.

• Caitlin Blair of Louisville, communications director for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 227. She is a graduate of Appalachian State with a master’s degree from George Washington University.

• Hampton Henton of Versailles, who runs a family farm growing corn, soybeans, tobacco, raising cattle and boarding horses. Under federal appointment, he previously served as the state director for the Farm Service Agency.

• Keith Murt of Paducah, president of Murt Co., a mechanical contracting company. Murt has been a member of Plumbers and Pipefitters 184 for more than 45 years.

• John Stovall of Louisville, president of Teamsters Local 783. Stovall, a carpenter, has worked for Jefferson County Public Schools. He is a veteran of the Army Reserves.

• James Kay Sr. of Versailles, a lifelong Woodford Countian and farmer. Kay owns and manages KayDenton Farm and is a graduate of Woodford County High School and pursued further education in agriculture at the University of Kentucky.

• Charles Stephen Sparrow of Lawrenceburg, former KYOSH compliance director for the Labor Cabinet’s Department of Workplace Standards. Sparrow currently works at the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Kentucky.

• William Carey of Lawrenceburg, director of safety for Gray Construction based out of Lexington. Carey served as construction partnership administrator for the Labor Cabinet. He currently serves on the AGC safety committee and is the former director for KY Safety and Health Network.

(606) 326-2652 |


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