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Biden administration looks to bolster OSHA staffing in FY 2023 budget request

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Washington — The White House is seeking a 14.5% funding increase for OSHA under the Department of Labor’s fiscal year 2023 budget request, released March 28.

The Biden administration is requesting more than $701 million for the agency. That’s about $89 million more than OSHA is receiving in FY 2022 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2471), signed by President Joe Biden on March 15. FY 2023 begins Oct. 1.

Some of the money would be used to hire nearly 500 more full-time equivalent workers for OSHA – including 179 new inspectors. The agency had an all-time low of 750 inspectors at the end of FY 2021, according to a Bloomberg Law report published Nov. 16.

DOL also is seeking to hire:

  • 75 safety technicians
  • 63 support personnel in federal enforcement
  • 63 FTE workers for its whistleblower programs
  • 60 FTE workers to help with federal compliance assistance
 

“One of OSHA’s key goals is to continue to rebuild the agency and ensure that OSHA is the national leader in workplace safety and health,” DOL states in its budget request. “This includes a focus on strengthening agency capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and other emerging hazards; address new and increased responsibilities; and respond to the needs of a changing workforce in terms of diversity, economics and geography.”

DOL is requesting nearly $423.5 million for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, a roughly $40 million (11.5%) increase. Around $33 million of that extra money would go toward enforcement. NIOSH is slated for a $6.5 million decrease to $345.3 million, while the Chemical Safety Board would get a roughly $600,000 increase to $14 million.

The House and Senate Appropriations committees will next weigh in with their respective budget proposals.

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