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The Trump administration’s 2020 budget proposal includes a decrease of $305 million for the U.S. Department of Labor and a 9.7% drop in the department’s discretionary funding from estimated 2019 levels, according to documents posted Monday.
But it maintains “targeted investments” in the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Mine Safety and Health Administration aimed “at preventing worker fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through enforcement, outreach, and compliance assistance,” according to a fact sheet within the budget.
The budget also includes “funding for additional OSHA inspectors to conduct more inspections in high-hazard industries and for protecting whistleblowers’ rights” and proposes a “new budget activity within MSHA, consolidating the Coal Mine Safety and Health and the Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health budget activities.”
“The new enforcement structure would provide the flexibility to address industry changes and maximize the efficient use of MSHA’s resources,” the fact sheet states.
Also affecting workers compensation, the budget includes $1 billion for the National Institutes of Health for opioid and pain research.
Supplemental budget materials will be posted on March 18, according to the administration’s website.
Two members of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission have expressed concern about OSHA’s use of the general duty clause to cite employers when no specific standards exist for certain workplace hazards, even though the commission upheld a citation in one recent case.