Today's News / Occupational Safety

OSHA’s sequestration strategy starts with hiring freeze

Today is deadline

March 1, 2013
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

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.


Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon



Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/30/14 2:00 pm EST

Leveraging Sustainability Initiatives to Benefit Your Community and Increase Compliance

This webinar will review how General Motors' Sustainability initiatives are being leveraged to improve the community and the environment, create efficient energy programs, improve sustainability tracking, impact on processes and overall reporting and improve overall social, environmental and corporate sustainability.

ISHN Magazine


2014 September

ISHN'S September issue features a series of essay on thought leadership. Get expert advice on self-motivation, compliance and more!

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 - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For 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. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

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.