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OSHA's FY 2010 budget proposes increase of $25 million for enforcement; addition of 160 inspectors (5/8)

May 8, 2009
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OSHA is to receive a ten-percent budget increase to $563 million, according to the funding proposal for the agency released by the Obama administration.

According to an analysis by Aaron Trippler, government affairs director for the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the FY 2010 budget specifically requests $563,620,000 and 2,360 full-time equivalent employees (FTE), an increase of $50,578,000 and 213 FTE over FY 2009 levels.

OSHA’s FY 2010 budget includes an increase of $2,200,000 and 20 FTE to support safety and health standards. With the additional 20 FTE, OSHA will expand its capability to examine its regulatory approach in light of new data, information, and approaches available in workplaces, other agencies, and other countries.

Of particular interest is the vastly expanded information available on chemicals through programs in other U.S. agencies as well as in other countries. These include such new sources as occupational exposure scenarios that manufacturers will be required to develop to comply with European chemical initiatives, and compilations of data on chemicals assembled by EPA.

An increase of $25,511,000 and 160 FTE will support a reinvigorated enforcement program by expanding the size of the compliance safety and health officer (CSHO) workforce. Increasing the number of CSHOs will allow the agency to address the challenges raised by changes in worker demographics and the increasing number of immigrant and vulnerable worker populations, according to the budget proposal.

OSHA is committed to increasing the number of bilingual CSHOs, particularly those fluent in Spanish, to address workers who are not fluent in English, according to the budget proposal.

OSHA also plans to increase its whistleblower investigator workforce to meet its responsibility for enforcing the growing number of anti-discrimination laws.

Additionally, an increase of $13,800,000 is for the agency’s State Plans partners who provide safety and health services to 27 states. OSHA will work with its State Plan partners on using increased resources efficiently, and ensure that individual state strategic and annual performance plans track OSHA program initiatives by including an increased emphasis on enforcement directed at high-hazard establishments.

Funding for federal compliance assistance is proposed to increase by less than $1 million, as is funding for state compliance-assisted consultation programs.

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