Trump's OSHA Cuts: Fewer Inspections Less Training
He is proposing a 10% cut to the already gutted Labor budget
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is warning that budget cuts could lead to fewer safety inspections in 2020. OSHA says that they have lost a lot of veteran inspectors due to attrition and are facing an influx of young and inexperienced ones taking their place. The agency is warning that in the fiscal year 2020, they will only be able to conduct 33,293 inspections, which is 108 fewer than in 2019.
While OSHA is asking for more money to ensure that new inspectors are hired and that they are properly trained, Trump’s budget cuts funding to the agency by $4.4 Million. Overall, Trump is proposing a 10% cut to the Department of Labor’s budget. Many of the cuts would come from the elimination of the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) and OSHA’s Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. The CSB is an important agency that works like the NTSB in investigating serious chemical incidents and making safety recommendations for preventing them in the future. The Harwood Grant helps to fund training and education for workers and employers on workplace safety and health hazards. They specifically target high hazard industries and ones with workers who are underserved and low literacy. This means that there will be fewer inspections on jobs like the New Orleans Hard Rock hotel and there will be less money for safety training for those employers.
The only good news is that these cuts aren’t likely to happen. Trump has proposed them each of the past three years, using almost identical language. Congress has instead rejected them and restored some or all of their funding. For the 2021 budget, Congress is proposing $1.5 billion more than Trump is requesting.