The president’s budget was released last week, and OSHA administrator David Michaels has shared some details on how it may affect the agency.
Here are the key points Michaels addressed during an April 10 question-and-answer session:
- A proposal to consolidate OSHA’s regional offices (bring the number from 10 to seven) would save about $1.3 million. It’s a proposal the administration has previously suggested.
- A $2.8 million cut from compliance assistance activities was caused by, among other reasons, consolidation of compliance personnel and “completion of several recent initiatives,” Michaels said. As a result of the reduction, OSHA will slow the number of cooperative program participants to ensure the integrity of the programs and help reduce the backlog of Voluntary Protection Programs recertifications.
- There will be no plans to move VPP toward a fee-based program, but the growth of the program will slow for the reasons stated above.
- The nearly $6 million increase to whistleblower protection activities will go toward 47 new investigators to help handle higher caseloads. Although these additional resources are not specifically assigned to any one statute, the increased funding was caused by higher caseloads expected from the Affordable Care Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Act (.pdf file) and the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (.pdf file).
The opinions expressed in "Washington Wire" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.