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National COSH on Federal Budget: No Cuts to OSHA and Other Safety Programs a Positive Step, but More Resources Needed to Protect Workers

Friday, March 23, 2018
Press Contacts: 

Contact: Roger Kerson, roger@nationalcosh.org, 734.645.0535

National COSH on Federal Budget: No Cuts to OSHA and Other Safety
Programs a Positive Step, but More Resources Needed to Protect Workers 

 SAN DIEGO – The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH), a nationwide training and advocacy organization for workers and families, said today that the U.S. House and Senate took a positive step by passing a budget which maintains funding for OSHA and other critical safety programs at 2017 levels.

“Workers and their families need strong safety protections.  That’s why grass roots activists insisted on no painful cuts in OSHA and other federal safety programs,” said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of National COSH. “We’re glad members of Congress from both parties listened to what we had to say. But we still need to do more. At a time when worker deaths are on the rise, this current budget leaves OSHA with less money than the agency had back in 2010.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 5,190 workplace deaths from acute trauma in the U.S. in 2016, the highest number of fatalities since 2008.

The budget passed this week by Congress funds OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) at 2017 levels. The FY 2018 OSHA budget will also include continued funding for the agency’s Susan Harwood training grants. Employer associations, unions, and non-profit groups are eligible for Harwood grants to provide safety training for workers. 

“COSH groups, unions, workers centers and our allies have been telling members of Congress that Harwood training grants are
extremely important, so we are glad to see bipartisan support to keep this program in place,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb.
“We can’t forget, however, that each year there are thousands of workers who never come home to their families.
That’s why it’s so important to empower workers and insist on rigorous inspection and tough enforcement of our safety laws.”

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National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit NationalCOSH.org. Follow us at National Council for Occupational Safety and Health on Facebook and @NationalCOSH on Twitter.