MSHA, OSHA chiefs offer further 2017 budget proposal details

By |  February 11, 2016
MSHA's Joe Main

MSHA’s Joe Main

Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) provides additional details on the agency’s 2017 budget request in a blog post on the Department of Labor’s website.

According to Main, the 2017 budget request includes more than $397 million in funding and nearly 2,300 full-time workers for MSHA. Some of MSHA’s budget highlights are $8.4 million to improve training for MSHA staff and those in the mining industry; $2 million for the replacement of inspectors’ portable application laptop system, which is used by enforcement personnel to log violations and notes following a mine inspection; and $1 million and six full-time employees to continue to improve the timeliness of special assessments, as well as improve special investigations of claims for discrimination and other criminal and civil investigations and accountability reviews.

David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) also provides details of OSHA’s budget proposal, which requests an increase of more than $42 million in funding and 100 new employees for OSHA across a variety of programs that protect workers.

According to Michaels, the investments include $6.7 million to support the implementation of the rapid response investigation protocols to manage the workload resulting from the enhanced reporting requirements in the 2014 revisions to the recordkeeping standard, which requires employers to report work-related hospitalizations, amputations and eye losses; $2 million to enable the On-site Consultation Program, which provides assistance to small- and medium-sized employers, to hire and train staff to support OSHA’s rapid response investigations; and $1.5 million to restore 10 of the compliance assistance specialist positions that were cut in previous funding bills.

According to OSHA, these specialists help provide essential outreach to both employer and vulnerable worker communities about new and revised standards, key enforcement initiatives, and issues affecting high-risk industries such as the oil and gas industry.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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