Michaels: VPP growth will slow under new budget

Washington – A proposed cut in funding of nearly $3 million for OSHA’s compliance assistance activities would slow the growth of the number of new participants in the Voluntary Protection Programs, according to agency administrator David Michaels.

During an April 10 question-and-answer session on the Obama administration’s proposed fiscal year 2014 budget, Michaels said the funding cut would lead to fewer new participants so the agency can focus on the “integrity and modernization” of OSHA’s cooperative programs. The slow growth also will allow OSHA to reduce the backlog of VPP recertifications, he said.

However, Michaels stressed that no plans were in place to move VPP to a fee-based program, which was a proposal floated at the beginning of President Barack Obama’s first term but quickly rescinded amid stakeholder backlash.

The reduced funding is the result of consolidation of compliance assistance personnel and a decreased need for outreach and training materials caused by the completion of recent initiatives, Michaels said.

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