OSHA to Receive Increase in Budget for FY 2020

The proposed fiscal year budget for 2020 includes a slight bump in financial support for the Occupational Health & Safety Administration.

The proposed fiscal year budget for 2020 includes a slight bump in financial support for the Occupational Health & Safety Administration. Changes released in December 2019 showed a budget increase of four percent, less than originally asked for but a slight increase over FY 2019.

In April, the House appropriations committee for the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education proposed a budget of $660.9 million for OSHA. However, the budget proposed last month looks to allocate $581.8 million for FY 2020 an increase over the $557.8 million offered to the agency for FY 2019.

Included in the budget is money earmarked for the voluntary protection program ($10.5 million) and Susan Harwood grants ($11.5 million). Lawmakers also set aside $379.8 million for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, of which, $2 million was earmarked for mine rescue and recovery activities and at least $10 million for state assistance programs.
In addition to the proposed budget increase from the House, OSHA will also receive $221.7 million in funding for federal enforcement and $108.6 million will go to state programs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of fatal work injuries remained un- changed in 2018 (the latest year for statistics). In an attempt to lower these fatal numbers, OSHA remains vigilant in inspections across the country. In fact, in 2019 OSHA completed a total of 33,401 inspections—more than any year since 2015.

“OSHA will continue to use BLS data for enforcement targeting within its jurisdiction to help prevent tragedies,” OSHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt said. “Inspections for OSHA were up, and we will work with state plans so employers and workers can find compliance assistance tools in many forms or call the agency to report unsafe working conditions. Any fatality is one too many.”
 

OSHA’s education programs reached the largest number of workers in FY 2019 to date, according to a news release. These include the OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, Outreach Training Program and the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program as well as the free on-site consultation program that allows the agency to identify nearly 140,000 workplace hazards and protect 3.2 million workers from potential harm.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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