Capitol HillDespite predictions that lawmakers would cut OSHA funding back to 2006 levels, the agency will receive a slight increase during the remainder of the 2012 fiscal year, under the federal budget that has apparently been finalized by Congress.

Aaron K. Trippler, Government Affairs Director for the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), said the agency will receive approximately $8 million more than it did in the previous budget. Although legislators had discussed prohibiting spending on I2P2 and the MSD recording issues, those bans did not make it into the final version of the budget for FY 2012, which ends on September 30.

Trippler said he did find a small business-related provision which may be new this time around: a clause that prevents OSHA from inspecting employers with fewer than ten employees who have injury rates below the national average unless they have had accidents or complaints against them.

Several National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) programs which were potentially on the budgetary chopping block survived, including Educational and Research Centers for Occupational Safety and Health (ERCs) and the Agricultural, Forestry and Fishing program. Trippler said both of those are fully funded for 2012.