A new policy position from the National Safety Council (NSC) stresses the importance of providing NIOSH, the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for work-related illness and injury prevention, with adequate, stable funding.
NIOSH information and research generate products and services designed to help avert workplace illness, injury, disability and death. Over the last several years, NIOSH has received cuts to its funding and several specific NIOSH programs have been targeted for elimination. NSC especially is concerned about the proposed elimination of NIOSH’s Education and Research Centers (ERCs) and the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AgFF) Program.
The government currently is operating under a continuing resolution which funds NIOSH at FY 2012 funding levels through March 27. Congress is expected to take up a bill in the coming weeks to fund the government through Sept. 30. President Barack Obama’s proposed FY 2013 budget recommended eliminating NIOSH’s ERCs and the AgFF Program, which NSC warns could have implications for workplace safety and health.
“ERCs develop, educate and train occupational safety and health professionals to reduce work-related injuries and prevent adverse workplace conditions. The AgFF Program represents the only significant federal effort to ensure safe working conditions for agricultural workers,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO. “For these reasons, NSC supports continued funding of these programs to prevent increases in injury and death.”
NSC has a partnership agreement with NIOSH to use collaborative efforts and expertise to advance the breadth and effectiveness of workplace safety. By adopting this policy position, NSC will be able to work to ensure that NIOSH continues to have the resources necessary to reduce workplace fatalities and injuries.