President Bush’s budget request of $483.7 million for OSHA in fiscal year 2007 represents an increase of $11.2 million over FY 2006 and includes boosts for federal enforcement, compliance assistance and safety and health statistics, Jonathan L. Snare, acting OSHA chief, announced last month.

Said Snare, "As we celebrate our 35th anniversary as America's workplace safety and health leader, the President has proposed a budget that gives us the resources we need to continue to improve our efforts to further cut worker injuries, illnesses and fatalities. This budget reinforces our balanced approach to worker safety and health — an approach that works."

The budget contains two major initiatives:

  • $7.5 million has been allocated to develop a new occupational safety and health information system (OIS) that will replace the agency's 15-year-old Integrated Management Information System (IMIS). The new system will ensure OSHA's ability to measure results and provide accurate and timely information on all OSHA enforcement and compliance assistance programs.
  • $2.6 million is included in the budget proposal to expand outreach for Hispanic and other non-English speaking workers, as well as for workers involved in cleanup and recovery operations along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
OSHA is planning 37,700 workplace inspections throughout 2007 — the same as this year — and will continue to focus its resources on workplaces and industries with high rates of injuries and illnesses.

The 2007 budget proposal includes $179.9 million for federal enforcement, an increase of $7.4 million from 2006.

The budget proposes discontinuing the Susan Harwood training grants program. Instead, those monies will fund the new OIS system and increased compliance assistance activities.

"The availability of a variety of programs and capabilities to provide outreach and training to the regulated community allows us an opportunity to discontinue a rather narrowly-focused training program," Snare explained, referring to the proposed discontinuation of the Harwood training grants.