A conference committee of the House and Senate that wrapped up in December resulted in Congress agreeing to a new budget for occupational health and safety in fiscal year 2002. OSHA winds up receiving $443 million, about a 4 percent increase over last year, while NIOSH is appropriated $276 million, up about 6 percent.

Both the House and Senate had originally approved different versions of the Health and Human Services bill, which includes appropriations for both OSHA and NIOSH. OSHA's final figure of $443 million is about $17 million more than fiscal year 2001. The Bush administration requested $426 million, essentially a level-funding approach, while the House approved $435 million and the Senate approved $450 million.

Among OSHA's accounts, federal enforcement received the largest budget increase, from $151 million to $161 million, and compliance assistance received the next largest boost, from $116 million to $121 million.

As for NIOSH, the $276 million appropriation is a $16 million increase over last year. The administration had requested $266 million, while the House approved $270 million, and the Senate approved $276 million. The Senate's figure turned out to be the final appropriation.