OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Trade News Release
Monday, February 1, 1999
Contact: Michael Fluharty, (202) 693-1999
President Clinton's budget request for Fiscal Year 2000 calls for a $35.1 million increase in funds for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including substantial increases to assist employers and employees to meet safety and health standards and to enforce those protections in the workplace. (See budget breakdown chart)
The $35.1 million increase sought for OSHA, from $353 million in the current fiscal year to $388.1 million in FY 2000, includes an increase of $12.1 million for federal compliance assistance and $8.3 million for federal enforcement.
"The proposed increases reinforce our commitment to expanded outreach and training for employers and employees, as well as strong enforcement targeted toward those workplaces we know have serious safety and health problems," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Charles N. Jeffress.
The enforcement component of the proposed budget includes funds and additional personnel to support and strengthen activities in high-hazard workplaces and to pay for assumption of safety and health coverage in the U.S. Postal Service as mandated by the Postal Service Safety Enhancement Act of 1998. It also provides money for establishing the capability for Alternative Dispute Resolution, which could provide an alternative solution to costly and time-consuming litigation over enforcement.
Increased funds for federal compliance assistance and personnel would enable OSHA to place a technical assistance specialist within reach of every American business. These specialists will provide outreach and training to employer and employee groups and help expand voluntary partnerships. Included in the request is $3.5 million to increase the number of targeted training grants available under the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. There also would be an additional $700, 000 for development of "expert advisor" computer software which assists employers and employees in finding on-the-job hazards and complying with specific standards.
The request also includes an increase of $3.4 million for state-operated occupational safety and programs, from $80.1 million in FY 1999 to $83. 5 million in FY 2000. This includes money to fund a new state plan for the State of New Jersey to provide safety and health coverage for its state and local government employees. "Public sector employees are often involved in high-risk activities and would benefit from the same workplace safety and health regulatory protection as those workers in the private sector," Jeffress said.
An increase of $800,000 for the safety and health standards programs, to $13.1 million, includes $400,000 for reviewing significant final rules to determine whether they are achieving their benefits and compliance goals and for customer surveys for measuring customer satisfaction with development and delivery of OSHA programs and services.
A total of $8.1 million is requested for maintenance, replenishment and investment in the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. The agency needs to begin a planned replacement program for its IT infrastructure that anticipates increased user reliance, meeting Year 2000 compliance issues, and measuring the agency's performance in meeting goals of the five-year strategic plan.
The text of this news release is on the Internet World Wide Web.
Information on this news release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-693-1999.
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