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OSHA, NIOSH budgets get a boost

Fiscal 2005 budgets for OSHA and NIOSH have finally been worked out by Congress.

OSHA gets $468,109,000 in funding, up from $457,541,000 in fiscal '04. That's about a 2.3 percent gain.

Differences between 2004 and 2005 include increases of just over $5 million in federal enforcement dollars and an increase of more than $4 million in federal compliance assistance, according to an analysis by the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Hidden within the budget report is one additional request from Congress. The report advises OSHA to take no further action with regard to respiratory protection for occupational exposure to TB until such time as the Centers for Disease Control has completed the ongoing revisions of its TB guidelines.

The actual bill language states “that none of the funds appropriated shall be obligated or expended to administer or enforce the provisions of the General Industry Respiratory Standard to the extent that such provisions require the annual fit testing (after the initial fit testing) of respirators for occupational exposure to TB.”

NIOSH's budget was increased from $277 million in fiscal '04 to $287,745,000. Included are increases of $1.5 million for the Education and Research Centers, $2 million for the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), and $1.4 million for the National Personal Protective Technologies Laboratory.

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