Safety and OSHA News

OSHA spared budget ax — for now

Through Sept. 30, OSHA’s operations should go on mostly unaffected by the new federal budget compromise. OSHA faces a slight budget reduction, but not the large one called for by House Republicans.

OSHA’s 2011 budget shrunk by 0.2% ($1.2 million), the result of an across-the-board reduction in federal spending. Republicans wanted to cut the agency’s budget by $99 million.

For comparison, here’s how some other federal agencies fared:

  • MSHA’s budget increased by $6.5 million over last year.
  • EPA’s budget was cut 16%.
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the OSH research institute, had its budget chopped by $49 million.
  • The budget for job training state grants for adults, youth and dislocated workers was set at $2.8 billion, which is $182 million below the fiscal year 2010 level.

Now the clock starts ticking toward the deadline for the 2012 budget which is scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1, 2011. Expect Republicans to push for the same level of OSHA cuts they originally wanted in this fiscal year’s budget.

With OSHA’s budget remaining more or less stable this year, it may be more difficult for the White House to protect the agency for a second consecutive year.

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