They won’t be getting an increase, but federal worker safety agencies will not, at least, see the slashes in funding that some were predicting. The FY 2018 budget passed by Congress recently maintains funding for OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) at 2017 levels.
OSHA’s Susan Harwood training grants which provide grants to nonprofit organizations to develop and conduct occupational safety and health training programs are funded for next year, although the agency eliminated the program in its FY 2019 budget request, saying there’s no evidence that it is effective.
Worker safety advocates like the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) expressed approval for Congress’ budget action, but pointed out that OSHA still has less funding than it did in 2010.
“Workers and their families need strong safety protections,” said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of National COSH.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 5,190 workplace deaths from acute trauma in the U.S. in 2016, the highest number of fatalities since 2008.