By Emily Clark and WAKEUP CALL
The latest budget signed into law by President Obama includes $552.2 million in funding for OSHA, including approximately $208 million for enforcement. Although the total amount falls $18.3 million short of the $570.5 million the agency requested, the final budget fully funds OSHA’s requested enforcement dollars. Overall, the new funding levels represent an increase of $17 million, or 3.2%, over the funding OSHA received during the sequestration-impacted Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.
So what does OSHA plan to spend its money on in 2014? Here are the highlights:
- $207.8 million will be earmarked for federal enforcement activities. This amount is similar to the FY 2013 final spending levels because OSHA shifted its funds towards enforcement from other programs during sequestration.
- $143.9 million will be used for compliance assistance, including federal assistance, state consultation grants, and training grants.
- $100 million will be available for grants to states that operate their own occupational safety and health agencies.
- $34.3 million will be used for safety and health statistics.
- $20 million will be available for safety and health standards.
- $24.3 million will go towards technical support.
- $17 million will fund whistleblower protection programs.
OSHA says it plans to use its funding to advance its overall goals of securing safe and healthy workplaces and ensuring that workers have a voice in the workplace. In particular, the agency plans to focus on high-hazard industries and devote attention to the four leading causes of workplace death: falls, electrocutions, caught-in and caught-between incidents, and struck-by incidents. OSHA plans to use both enforcement and outreach efforts to work toward these goals.
According to OSHA’s 2014 Budget Justification, the agency plans to use its enforcement funding to conduct 39,250 inspections in 2014. These inspections will be targeted to find and address the most hazardous workplaces under the agency’s new weighted inspection system. In addition to focusing on serious hazards, OSHA plans to encourage its compliance officers and area offices to conduct complex inspections, such as those for Process Safety Management.
What it means for businesses
So are you likely to be inspected in 2014? The following is the list of OSHA’s current National Emphasis Programs. If any of these apply to your facility, make sure you’re in compliance with all applicable regulations, or you could face costly fines.
- Combustible Dust
- Hazardous Machinery (National Emphasis Program on Amputations)
- Hexavalent Chromium
- Occupational Exposure to Isocyanates
- Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
- Primary Metal Industries
- Process Safety Management (Two programs: PSM Covered Chemical Facilities and Petroleum Refinery Process Safety Management)
- Crystalline Silica
- Trenching and Excavation