Bill Warren is New Arizona Occupational Safety & Health Director; Replaces Longtime Director Darin Perkins

Longtime Arizona Division of Occupational Safety Health director Darin Perkins has stepped down and is being replaced by risk manager Bill Warren.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona, which oversees the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health, (known by its friendly acronym, ADOSH), voted during its April 19 meeting to appoint Warren as the new director.

ADOSH does several things, but is mainly known by the public for making sure employers follow safety standards for their workers.

Perkins, who had been director for the past 15 of his 22 years at ADOSH, left the agency a few weeks ago to become the Environmental, Health and Safety Manager at Central Arizona Project.

"The bottom line is that I was not looking to leave, but an opportunity came up ... it was an offer I couldn't refuse," he says.

Perkins says he'll be doing a similar job for CAP, but that his focus will be on one employer instead of nearly all the employers in the state. CAP has about 470 employees, he added.

He gives more parting words in the latest ADOSH newsletter -- his story about being hit on the head because he wasn't wearing a helmet during a rappelling adventure is worth reading.

Warren's the current Coconino County risk manager, according to his Linked In site. From 2000-2010, he was formerly the assistant risk manager and safety manager for Maricopa County. He's also a 30-year Navy man who works as a Master Chief Petty Officer for the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Warren and Laura McGrory, director of the Arizona Industrial Commission, were not immediately available for comment.

The ICA's April 19 meeting minutes show the five-member commission was somewhat divided over the "good finalists." Commissioner Kathleen Oster motioned for an unnamed candidate other than Warren, but she couldn't find a second. Chairman David Parker then motioned to appoint Warren, and a subsequent vote carried the motion 3-2.

The commission then voted to give the new director a "midpoint" annual salary of $88,766.91.

Warren is expected to start his new job on May 20.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.