ASSE Urges Congress To Correct Safety Funding Inequities

May 23, 2000
ASSE is urging Congress to increase funding for specific federal agencies during the current appropriations process.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is urging Congress to recognize the intrinsic value of occupational safety and health to the American public by increasing the funding for specific federal agencies during the current appropriations process.

In a May 15 letter sent by ASSE President Frank H. Perry to Congressional members, Perry said ASSE supports increased funding for OSHA and NIOSH and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) because of their national focus on occupational safety and health.

"The work that these agencies do saves lives and reduces injuries," said Perry. "I can''t see why Congress would even think of cutting their budgets when the work they do supports every man, woman and child accross this country, and actually, throughout the world."

One of the signifiant issues in Congress, Perry noted, regarding this year''s OSHA budget will be whether to shift money away from enforcement and federal compliance assistance to state consultation.

ASSE believes that the current balance between enforcement and consultation is good public policy and should should be maintained. In fact, the injury and illness rate reductions over the last six years are a testament to that, Perry noted.

"We have found that there have been a number of consultation program administrators pointing out that without credible enforcement there will be less incentive for employers to use consultative services in either the public or private sector," said Perry.

"ASSE believes that potential amendments which shift employees and resources away from federal OSHA to state consultation programs is just not good policy. The current balance maintains the national focus on occupational safety and health, and encourages increased usage of on-staff safety and health professionals in addition to both private and public sector consultation services."

ASSE also believes that maintaining the existing balance would assist OSHA in improving its image from that of workplace safety policeman to a full service agency.

ASSE believes that the inequity involving National Institute of Occupatioanl Safety and Health (NIOSH) funding should be corrected.

Perry noted that the NIOSH Safety Research Division needs to be appropriately funded to reach its key objective, to research effective and efficient ways to reduce occupational fatalities and injuries.

Increasing NIOSH''s funding will enhance the country''s ability to guide occupational safety and health research over the next decade and improve worker protection in an efficient and effective manner, Perry wrote.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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