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Acosta Talks OSHA Inspections, Budget Increases

Thursday, April 11, 2019

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The U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta recently told a House Appropriations subcommittee to expect a budget increase for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2020 and an increase in job site inspections to come with it.

What Happened

Acosta wrote a statement to the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies last week describing what the Department of Labor would see in the upcoming fiscal year 2020 as well as summarizing what has been seen through the first two years of President Donald J. Trump’s term.

The letter covered topics such as job creation, regulatory reform, state flexibility and apprenticeships, among other things.

It also covered what could be seen from OSHA.

Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta recently told a House Appropriations subcommittee to expect a budget increase for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2020 and an increase in jobsite inspections to come with it.

“OSHA helps ensure that employers provide safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance,” Acosta said in the statement.

“OSHA also administers the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 whistleblower statutes.  Compliance assistance and enforcement—driven by workplace inspections and investigations—play a vital role in OSHA’s efforts to reduce workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.”

Acosta noted that in FY 2018 and 2017, OSHA conducted more than 32,000 inspections each year, which exceeded the 2016 number, and in FY 2018 the administration hired 76 new inspectors, who are completing their training.

Additionally, Acosta noted that the workforce should see these new hires conducting field inspections on their own somewhere in the next one to three years, which allows for an increased estimate of inspections in 2019 and 2020.

According to the statement, OSHA personnel made 26,362 compliance assistance visits “covering more than 970,000 workers and ensuring that 135,021 hazards were identified/corrected. The estimated savings in injuries and costs prevented by this program exceed $1.3 billion.”

Acosta also spoke of the expedited process that was introduced in the Whistleblower Protection Program, he said because of which “FY 2018 saw 9,387 new complaints under the program, a 9 percent increase over FY 2017, and processed 9,308 complaints, an 8.4 percent increase over FY 2017.”

Finally, Acosta disclosed the estimated budget for OSHA in 2020, which currently stands at $557.5 million, an increase over 2019. Additional funding for staff is proposed, including 30 additional compliance safety and health officers and five additional whistleblower investigators.

   

Tagged categories: Department of Labor; Government; Health & Safety; Inspection; NA; North America; OSHA; OSHA

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