Today's News / Occupational Safety

OSHA’s sequestration strategy starts with hiring freeze

Today is deadline

slow growthWith the much anticipated sequestration deadline finally here, OSHA plans to freeze hiring and bonuses – moves that will enable the agency to avoid furloughing employees despite the looming budget cuts. That contradicts a Feb. 8 White House prediction that sequestration would force OSHA to take some of its inspectors off the job.

“This would mean roughly 1,200 fewer inspections of the nation's most dangerous workplaces, which would leave workers unprotected and could lead to an increase in worker fatality and injury rates,” the White House said in a fact sheet on the potential consequences of sequestration.

The agency’s budget is expected to take a $46 million hit if President Obama and Congress can’t break the current stalemate and agree on a way to head off the automatic budget cuts. Federal and state compliance assistance programs account for $134.2 million of OSHA's $564.8 million budget.

Sources say the agency strategy was communicated to OSHA employees in a recent memo. OSHA will also cut costs by curtailing non-essential employee travel and non-mission critical contracts if the sequestration cuts take effect today.

The U.S. Department of Labor and the Office of Management and Budget have approved OSHA’s request to reprogram funds, which will allow the agency to direct available funds toward high priority programs and reduce funds used on other items.

One of those high-priority items: OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), which recognizes companies with exemplary workplace safety programs. OSHA chief David Michaels has emphasized his support for the VPP and said that its funding is secure. According to the OSHA website, the VPP program leads to a reduction in worker injuries and lower workers compensation costs, among other benefits.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

4/21/15 2:00 pm EDT

The Safety Selfie: It’s time to take a “snap shot” of your safety program and contemplate what others see

We all know perception is reality and that people perceive things differently. As a safety manager, your perception of your safety program almost certainly differs from that of your workers and your managers. We will use our “Safety Selfies” to expose weaknesses, real and perceived, and to talk about how best to make improvements.

ISHN Magazine


2015 May

In this month's issue of ISHN, check out articles about heat protection, radiation in the workplace, and welding fumes

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015



For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 



Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.