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ASSE Opposes OSHA Funding Cuts
March 21, 2011

The American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) letter to Rep. Dennis R. Rehberg, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies’, outlined its reasons for opposing the cutbacks to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) funding proposed in House Resolution (HR) 1 as a continuing resolution. ASSE President Darryl C. Hill, PhD, CSP, noted in his letter that a proposed 17.7 percent decrease in OSHA’s funding that pushes the agency back to Fiscal Year 2004 funding levels is far too much and too fast a reduction to allow OSHA to continue the most basic work every Administration and Congress has expected from the agency.

ASSE urged Chairman Rehberg not to adopt HR 1 as the proposed cuts could weaken OSHA and many of its programs.

“A less effective OSHA will not promote more jobs,” Hill stated. “And a three million dollar reduction in OSHA’s standard-setting resources will only delay the need to bring this nation’s hazard communications in line with the rest of the world, allowing our companies to better meet one set of global standards, helping them be more competitive in the world marketplace.

“Reducing by $41.3 million OSHA’s enforcement capability will have little effect on most of this nation’s employers already committed to safety and health without having to be told by OSHA to do so because they know it is good for their business as well as their workers. However, less enforcement will help keep OSHA from targeting their competitors who are not committed to safety and health and, so, compete unfairly with them,” Hill added. “Cutting $14.9 million, or 15 percent, of OSHA’s statutory commitment to state programs will only drive some state plans out of operation, taking away programs that our members believe are more flexible and more willing to work with employers cooperatively than if federal OSHA took over.”

Hill noted, “ASSE is not against any federal agency working to help Congress’ efforts to hold the line on federal spending, but cutting OSHA nearly 18 percent is not a reasonable request.” OSHA should continue to assist safety professionals to work to prevent injuries and illnesses before an event occurs, not after another tragedy like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

For a full copy of the letter please go to

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